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** A great deal of company, and the weather and garden pleasant 
and it is very cheap and pleasant going thither. . . . But to near the 
nightingale and the birds, and here fiddles and there a harp, and here 
a Jew's trump, and here laughing and there fine people walking is 
mighty divertising." — Samuel Pepys. 




In the following pages an attempt has been made to 
write, for the first time, a history of the London 
pleasure gardens of the last century. Scattered notices 
of these gardens are to be found in many histories of 
the London parishes and in other less accessible sources, 
and merely to collect this information in a single 
volume would not, perhaps, have been a useless task. 
It is one, however, that could not have been undertaken 
with much satisfaction unless there was a prospect of 
making some substantial additions — especially in the 
case of the less known gardens — to the accounts already 
existing. A good deal of such new material it has here 
been possible to furnish from a collection of newspapers, 
prints, songs, &c., that I have been forming for several 
years to illustrate the history of the London Gardens.^ 

The information available in the writings of such 
laborious topographers as Wilkinson, Pinks, and Nelson 
is, of course, indispensable, and has not been here 

•^ ^ Some of the rarer items of the collection which it seemed 

^ desirable to cite as authorities are marked W. or W, Coll. 




neglected ; yet even in the treatment of old material 
there seemed room for improvement^ at least in the 
matter of lucidity of arrangement and chronological 
definiteness. For, if the older histories of the London 
parishes have a fault, it is, perhaps, that, owing to their 
authors' anxiety to omit nothing, they often read more 
like materials for history than history itself Thus, we 
find advertisements and newspaper paragraphs set forth 
at inordinate length and introduced without being 
properly assimilated with the context, and the reader is 
often left to find his own way through a mass of 
confusing and trivial detail. 

The principal sources of information consulted are 
named in the notes afld in a section at the end of each 
notice, and, wherever, practicable, a list has been added 
of the most interesting views of the various gardens. 
The Introduction contains a brief sketch of some of the 
main characteristics of the pleasure resorts described in 
the volume, and it is only necessary here to add that 
even our long list of sixty-four gardens does not by 
any means exhaust the outdoor resources of the 
eighteenth-century Londoner, who had also his Fairs, 
and his Parks, and his arenas for rough sport, like 
Hockley- in-the-Hole. But these subjects have already 
found their chroniclers. 

In preparing this work for press I have had the 
assistance of my brother, Mr. Arthur E. Wroth, who 
has, moreover, made a substantial contribution to the 
volume by furnishing the accounts of Sadler's Wells, 
White Conduit House, Bagnigge Wells, and Hampstead 


Wells, and by compiling ten shorter notices. For the 
remaining fifty notices, for the Introduction, and the 
revision of the whole I am myself responsible. 

Although the book has not been hastily prepared, 
and has been written for pleasure, I cannot hope that it 
is free from errors. I trust, however, that the short- 
comings of a work which often breaks new ground and 
which deals with many miscellaneous topics will not be 
harshly judged. 



September^ 1896. 



Preface v 

Introduction i 


Islington Spa, or New Tonbridge Wells 15 

The Pantheon, Spa Fields 25 

The London Spa 29 

The New Wells, near the London Spa 33 

The English Grotto, or Grotto Garden, Rosoman Street 37 

The Mulberry' Garden, Clerkenwell 40 

Sadler's Wells 43 

Merlin's Cave 54 

Bagnigge Wells 56 

"Lord Cobham's Head'* 68 

"Sir John Oldcastle" Tavern and Gardens 70 

St. Chad's Well, Battle Bridge 72 

Bowling Green House, near the Foundling Hospital . . 75 

Adam and Eve Tea Gardens, Tottenham Court Road . 77 

The Peerless Pool .81 

The Shepherd and Shepherdess, City Road 86 

The Spring Garden, Stepney 88 




Marylebone Gardens 93 

§ I. Origin of Marylebone Gardens 93 

§2. Marylebone Gardens^ 1738 — 1763 95 

§ 3. The Gardens under Thomas Lowe loi 

§4. Later History^ 1768 — 1778 103 

The Queen's Head and Artichoke in 

The Jew's Harp House and Tea Gardens 113 

The Yorkshire Stingo •... 115 

Bayswater Tea Gardens 117 


Pancras Wells 123 

Adam and Eve Tea Gardens, St. Pancras 127 

The Assembly House, Kentish Town 129 

White Conduit House 131 

Dobney's Bowling Green, or Prospect House 141 

Belvidere Tea Gardens, Pentonville Road 145 

The Castle Inn and Tea Gardens, Colebrooke Row, 

Islington 147 

Three Hats, Islington 148 

Barley Mow Tea House and Gardens, Islington . . . . 153 

Canonbury House Tea Gardens 154 

Copenhagen House ... 156 

Highbury Barn 161 

The Devil's House, Holloway 167 

HoRNSEY Wood House 169 

The Spring Garden, Stoke Newington 172 

The Black Queen Coffee House and Tea Gardens, 

Sh.^cklewell 173 




Hampstead Wells 177 

The Spaniards 184 

New Georgia 187 

Belsize House 189 

KiLBURN Wells 194 


Ranelagh House and Gardens 199 

§ I. Origin of Ranelagh 199 

§ 2. The Rotunda 201 

§ 3. The Entertainments and the Company 203 

§4. Annals of Ranelagh^ 1742 — 1769 208 

§ 5. Later History^ ^11^ — 1805 212 

Strombolo House and Gardens 219 

Star and Garter Tavern and Gardens, Chelsea .... 220 

Jenny's Whim, Pimlico 222 

Cromwell's Gardens, afterwards Florida Gardens, 

Brompton 225 



Bermondsey Spa Gardens 231 

St. Helena Gardens, Rotherhithe 238 

Finch's Grotto Gardens 241 

Cuper's Gardens 247 

"The Folly" on the Thames 258 

Belvedere House and Gardens, Lambeth 261 

Restoration Spring Gardens, St. George's Fields . . . 263 
The Flora Tea Gardens (or Mount Gardens) Westminster 

Bridge Road 265 

The Temple of Flora 266 



Apollo Gardens (or Temple of Apollo) 268 

Dog and Duck, St, George's Fields (St. George's Spa) . 271 

The Black Prince, Newington Butts 278 

Lambeth Wells 279 

Marble Hall, Vauxhall 281 

The Cumberland Tea Gardens, Vauxhall (Smith's Tea 

Gardens) 283 

Vauxhall Gardens 286 

§ I. 1661 — 1728 286 

§2. 1732— 1767 290 

§3. 1768— 1790 305 

§4. 1791 — 1821 311 

§5. 1822— 1859 316 

INDEX 327 


" C. H. Simpson, Esq., M.C.R.G.V/* .... Frontispiece. 
(Coloured print published by W. Kidd, 
1833 ; Robert Cruikshank del. W. cp. 
infra, "Vauxhall Gardens," pp. 319, 320.) 

" A Tea Garden " To face page 6 

(G. Morland pinxit ; Mile. Rollet 
sc. W.) 

Plan showing distribution of the London Pleasure 

Gardens „ 12 

" Richard Temple, Viscount Cobham " . ... „ 17 

(Mezzotint. G. Kneller pinx. ; Faber 
fecit 1732. W.) 

" Vincent Lunardi, Esq." „ 79 

R. Cos way del. ; F. Bartolozzi sc, frontis- 
piece toLunardi's An Account of theFirst Aerial 
Voyage in England, London, 1784. W.) 

" William Defesch " „ 97 

(Soldi pinx. ; F. Morellon le Cave sc, 
1751. W.) 

"AnnCatley" „ 105 

(Lawrenson pinx. ; Evans sc, published 
by Matthews and Leigh, 1807.) 

•* South-east View of Copenhagen House," 

1783 • . ; „ 157 

i^Bee Views, Copenhagen House, No. 2.) 

The Rotunda at Ranelagh, r/rr. 175 1 „ 202 

(From the 1754 ^^* of Stow's Survey,) 


" The Chinese House, the Rotunda and the 
Company in Masquerade in Renclagh (sic) 

Gardens" To face f age 205 

(A coloured print, Bowles del. et sc, 
1751. W.) 

** St. Helena Tavern and Tea Gardens " . ... „ 239 

i^See Views, St. Helena Gardens, No. i.) 

" Mrs. Baddely " • „ 243 

(Mezzotint. ZofFany pinx. ; R. Lowrie 
sc. [1772]. W.) 

'* View of the Savoy, Somerset House and the 

water entrance to Cuper's Gardens " . . . . „ 249 

{^Bee Views, Cuper*s Gardens, No. i.) 

General Prospect of Vauxhall Gardens, 175 1 . . „ 301 

(From the 1754 ed. of Stow's Survey.) 

The Rotunda (Music Room), Vauxhall, 1752. . „ 303 

(Printed for Tho. Bowles, 1752. W.) 

Admission ticket to the Vauxhall Jubilee Ridotto, 
29 May, 1786. With the seal and autograph 
of Jonathan Tyers the younger. W „ 305 

" Vauxhall " „ 307 

(From Rowlandson's drawing engraved by 
R. Pollard, aquatinted by F. Juices, 1785. 
W. For details, see Grego's Rowlandson^ 
I. p. 62f. and p. i56f.) 

"Vauxhall on a Gala Night" „ 311 

(Pugh del. ; Rhodes sc, published by 
Richard Phillips, 1804.) 

"Mrs. Martyr" „ 313 

(Engraved by W. Ridley for Parson's 
Minor Theatre^ ^794-0 

Plan of Vauxhall Gardens in 1826 „ 318 

(From Allen's Lambeth,) 




Islington Spa in 1733 19 

{See Views, Islington Spa, No. 2.) 

May Day at the London Spa, 1720 31 

{See Views, London Spa, No. 2, Brit. Mus. Library.) 

A View of the English Grotto near the New River Head, 

arc. 1760 38 

{See p. 37, note i. No. i, infra. W.) 

Sadler's Wells Anglers, 1796 46 

(Woodward del. Cruikshank sc. Coloured print 
[W.] ** New River Head, Islington," in Woodward's 
Eccentric Excursions^ 1796O 

Sadler's Wells in 1792, and as it was before 1765 49 

{See Views, Sadler's Wells, No. 3.) 

Spinacuti's Monkey at Sadler's Wells, 1768 51 

(" The curious and uncommon performances of a 
monkey as they will be introduc'd every evening at 
Sadler's Wells by Signor Spinacuta " {sic). Engraved 
placard, circ. 1768. W.) 

" The Bread and Butter Manufactory," Bagnigge Wells, 

^77^ ; 59 

{See Views, Bagnigge Wells, No, 2, mezzotint. W.) 

Frontispiece for the Sunday Ramble 63 

{See Views, Bagnigge Wells, No. 5. W.) 

** Summer Amusement " 69 

(An engraving printed for Bowles and Carver. W.) 

Bill of Peerless Pool, r/rr. 1846 83 

{See Views, Peerless Pool, No. 3. W.) 

Marybone Gardens, 175 5-176 1 ^9 

{See Views, Marylebone Gardens, No. 2 ; published 
by J. Ryall. W.) 



Thomas Lowe 102 

(" Mr; Lowe at Sadler's Wells. — fVith early Horn 
salute the mornr Engraving in ^he Vocal Magazine^ 
1778, song 1091. W.) 

Jew's Harp House, 1794 114 

(From a water-colour copied from Grace Coll., Cat. 
p. 569, No. 106.) 

The Bayswater Tea Gardens, 1796 118 

(Zee Views, Bayswater Tea Gardens. Coloured 
prints. W.) 

Bill of Pancras Wells, circ, 1730, showing the Wells, and 
the " Adam and Eve " tavern, near St. Pancras Church 
(west end) 125 

(Photographed from a drawing in Crace Coll., repro- 
ducing engraved bill of circ, 1730 : see Views, Pancras 
Wells, No. I.) 

White Conduit House 136 

(Engraving published I May, 1 8 19, by R. Ackermann.) 

"A representation of the surprising performances of Mr. 

Price " at Dobney's, ctrc, 1767 142 

(Zee Views, Dobney's Bowling Green, No. 2.) 

Johnson at the Three Hats, 1758 149 

(Bee Views, Three Hats, No. 3. W.) 

Highbury Barn in 1792 163 

(Zee Views, Highbury Barn, No. 2. W.) 

A view of ye Long Room at Hampsted, 1752 179 

(Zee Views, Hampstead Wells, No. 3.) 

South View of The Spaniards, 1750 185 

(Zee Views, The Spaniards, No. i. W,) 

Belsize House and Park 190 . 

(From a water-colour drawing by F. Kornman, after 
an eighteenth-century engraving.) 

The Attack on Dr. John Hill at Ranelagh, 6 May, 1752. . 207 
(A print published by H. Carpenter, 1752. W.) 

Regatta Ball at Ranelagh, 1775 214 

(Admission ticket, G. B. Cipriani iny, ; F. Barto- . 

lozzi sc. W.) J 



A West View of Chelsea Bridge, showing Jenny's Whim, 

1761 223 

{See Views, Jenny's Whim, No. 2. W.) 

Orchestra and Dancing-platform, St. Helena Gardens, circ. 

1875 . *39 

{See Views, St. Helena Gardens, No. 3.) 

Admission ticket. Finch's Grotto 242 

(From Wilkinson's Londina Illustrata,) 

Plan of Cuper's Gardens, 1746 255 

(From Wilkinson's Londina Illustrata.) 

"The Folly," before r/W. 1720 259 

(Drawn by F. Anderson (1896) from the engraving 
" Somerset House, La Maison de Somerset." W. See 
Views, " The Folly," No. 2.) 

** Labour in Vain" (St. George's Spa in background), 1782 275 
{See Views, Dog and Duck, No. 4. W.) 

The Black Prince, Newington Butts, 1788 278 

(Printed for C. Bowles, 1788. W.) 

Waterside entrance to Cumberland Gardens 284 

{See Views, Cumberland Gardens.) 

Vauxhall ticket by Hogarth (" Amphion ") 291 

(From a silver ticket in the British Museum.) 

Vauxhall ticket by Hogarth (" Summer ") ..,.;.. 294 
(From a silver ticket in the British Museum.) 

The Citizen at Vauxhall, 1755 297 

(A plate in the Connoisseur published by Harrison and 
Co., Aug. 12, 1786, illustrating "The Citizen at 
Vauxhall "in 1755. W.) 

Title-page of a Collection of Hook's Songs, 1798. W. . . 309 

Charles Dignum 313 

(An engraving by Jas. Heath from a painting by 
Augs. Callcot, forming frontispiece to Focal Music 
.... composed and adapted by Charles Dignum^ London, 
1803. W.) 

Madame Saqui 315 

(An engraving by Alais published 1820. W.) 




Darley in the Orchestra at Vauxhall 317 

(An engraving, circ, 1792. W.) 

Admission ticket for Green's Balloon Ascent, 31 July, 1850 321 
(Ticket with Green's autograph. W.) 

Vauxhall in 1850 323 

(Doyle's View from Punchy July, 1850.) 

*' The Farewel to Vaux Hall " 325 

(From Bickham's Musical Entertainer^ 1733 ^c. W.) 









An entry in the diary of Samuel Pepys records how 
on the 7th of June, 1665, " the hottest day (he says) 
that ever I felt in my life," he took water to the Spring 
Garden at Fox-hall and there stayed, pleasantly walking, 
and spending but sixpence, till nine at night. The 
garden that he visited was that which formed the 
nucleus of those Vauxhall Gardens which, seventy or 
eighty years later, became the most favoured summer 
resort of pleasure-seeking Londoners. Vauxhall with 
its great concourse of high and low, its elaborate con- 
certs, its lamps and brightly painted supper-boxes, is far 
removed from the simple garden in which Mr. Pepys 
delighted to ramble, but not only Vauxhall, but several 
other pleasure gardens of the eighteenth century may 
be traced to compju-atively humble beginnings in the 
period between the Restoration and the reign of Anne.^ 

In the early days of these gardens no charge was 
made for admission, but a visitor would naturally spend 

^ Several London pleasure gardens were in existence before the 

Restoration, the Mulberry Garden on the site of Buckingham 

Palace and the Spring Gardens at Charing Cross being well-known 

, instances. But in the present volume only such seventeenth- 

century gardens as survived till the succeeding century are noticed. 



a trifle in cheese-cakes and syllabubs for the ladies, and 
would order for himself some bottle-ale and such sub- 
stantial viands as were afforded by the tavern or the 
master's dwelling-house attached to the garden. The 
musical entertainments that afterwards became a feature 
of the principal gardens were originally of little account. 
The Wells of Lambeth (1697) and Hampstead (1701) 
provided a concert of some pretensions, but Mr. Pepys 
at the Spring Garden was content with the harmony of 
a harp, a fiddle, and a Jew's trump. 

In some places, however, a Long (or Great) Room 
was at an early period built for the dancing that 
generally took place there in the morning or the after- 
noon ; and booths and raffling-shops were set up for the 
benefit of card-players and gamblers. The quiet charm 
of a garden was, moreover, sometimes rudely broken by 
the incursion of gallants like " young Newport " and 
Harry Killigrew — " very rogues (says Pepys) as any in 
the town." At last, about 1730-40, the managers of 
the principal public gardens found it desirable to make 
a regular charge for admission : they requested gentle- 
men " not to smoak on the walks," sternly prohibited 
the entrance of servants in livery, and, generally, did 
their best to exclude improper characters. 

The author of the Sunday Ramble^ 2. little guide- 
book of the last century often quoted in this work, 
visited, or says that he visited, on a single Sunday all 
the best known gardens near town But it would have 
required an abnormally long life and a survey far less 
hurried to make acquaintance with all the open-air 
resorts that flourished during the whole, or part, of the 
eighteenth century. Such a long-lived Rambler who 
wished to know his gardens at first hand would prob- 
ably have visited them (as in this volume we invite the 
reader to do) in five or six large groups, paying little 
heed to what might seem the pedantry of Parishes and 


Beginning in what are now the densely populated 
districts of Clerkenwell and central London, he would 
find himself in the open fields and in a region abound- 
ing in mineral springs. Islington Spa (i 684-1 840) and 
its opposite neighbour Sadler's Wells (from 1683) had 
chalybeate springs that claimed to rival the water (** so 
mightily cry'd up ") of Tunbridge Wells in Kent, and 
if the water itself was unpalatable, the adjoining 
pleasure gardens and Long Rooms, with their gay com- 
pany, tended to make the drinking of medicinal water 
both pleasant and seductive. At no great distance 
from Sadler's Wells were the Wells of Bagnigge (from 
1759), the London Spa (from 1685), St. Chad's Well, 
and Pancras Wells (from circ, 1697) ; and a walk to 
Old Street would be rewarded by a plunge in the clear 
waters of the Peerless Pool, or by a basket of carp and 
tench caught in the fish pond close by. 

Behind the Foundling Hospital there might be found 
a bowling green ; at the Mulberry Garden (Clerken- 
well) a skittle-ground and an evening concert; in 
Rosoman Street, a wonderful grotto and an enchanted 
fountain^ and (at the New Wells, circ. 1737-1750), 
a complete " variety " entertainment. 

Sunday afternoon, if you did not mind the society of 
prentices and milliners, might be spent in Spa Fields at 
the Pantheon tea-house and garden (i 770-1 776), or at 
the Adam and Eve Gardens at Tottenham Court. 

Farther west lay the Marylebone Bowling Green and 
Garden, developed in 1738 into the well-known Mary- 
lebone Gardens, and in this neighbourhood were several 
humbler places of entertainment, the Jew's Harp House, 
The Queen's Head and Artichoke, and The Yorkshire 

Islington and North London were full of rural 
resorts, the Sunday haunts of the London " cit " and 
his family. In Penton Street was the renowned White 

1 The English Grotto. 

B 2 


Conduit House, and near it Dobney's Bowling Green, 
both visited in early days for their delightful prospects 
of the distant country. The Three Hats in Islington 
attracted visitors who wished to see the surprising 
horsemanship of Sampson and of Johnson "the Irish 
Tartar/' Canonbury, Highbury, Kentish Town, and 
Hornsey were pleasant places farther afield. 

Still farther north were Belsize House, with its 
fashionable gambling and racing ; the popular Wells of 
Hampstead, and the Kilburn Wells. The Spaniards, 
and New Georgia with its maze and mechanical oddities, 
were Sunday attractions in Hampstead for the good 
wives and daughters of tradesmen like Zachary 

Chelsea could boast of at least two gardens in addition 
to the famous gardens and Rotunda of Ranelagh. In 
Pimlico was Jenny's Whim. At Brompton, the Florida 
(or Cromwell's) Gardens, a pleasant place, half garden, 
half nursery, where you could gather cherries and straw- 
berries " fresh every hour in the day." 

London south of the Thames was not less well pro- 
vided for. Nearly opposite Somerset House were 
Cuper's Gardens {circ, 1 691-1759). Lambeth had its 
wells and its Spring Garden (Vauxhall Gardens). In 
St. George's Fields and Southwark were the mineral 
springs of the notorious Dog and Duck ; the Restora- 
tion Spring Gardens, and Finch's Grotto Gardens. 
Farther east were the Bermondsey Spa, and the St. 
Helena Gardens at Rotherhithe. 

Such was the geographical distribution of the London 
pleasure gardens. ** A mighty maze — but not without 
a plan." Or, at least a clue to their intricacies may be 
found by arranging them in three groups, each with its 
distinctive characteristics. 

In our first division we may place pleasure resorts of 
the Vauxhall type, beginning with the four great 

1 Cp. The Idler, No. 15, July 1758. 


London Gardens — Cuper's Gardens, the Marylebone 
Gardens, Ranelagh, and Vauxhall itself. These were 
all well-established in popular favour before the middle 
of the last century, and all depended for their reputation 
upon their evening concerts, their fireworks,^ and their 
facilities for eating and drinking. Ranelagh relied less 
on the attractions of its gardens than did the other 
resorts just mentioned. Here the great Rotunda over- 
shadowed the garden, and the chief amusement was the 
promenade in an "eternal circle" inside the building. 
Except on gala nights of masquerades and fireworks, 
only tea, coffee and bread and butter were procurable 
at Ranelagh ; and a Frenchman about 1 749 hints at 
more than a suspicion of dulness in the place when he 
comments " on s'ennuie avec de la mauvaise musique, 
du the, et du beurre." 

Imitations of the principal gardens were attempted in 
various parts of London. Thus the Mulberry Garden 
{circ. 1742), the Sir John Oldcastle and the Lord 
Cobham's Head in Clerkenwell had their fireworks, and 
their concerts by local celebrities, described in the ad- 
vertisements as a " Band of the best Masters." Finch's 
Grotto Garden in Southwark (1760 — circ. 1773), 
though not a fashionable resort, was illuminated 
on certain evenings of the week, and provided very 
creditable concerts, in which performers of some repute 
occasionally took part. Bermondsey Spa, from about 
1784, had, like Vauxhall, its Grand Walk and coloured 
lamps, and kept its own poet and musical composer 
(Jonas Blewitt, the organist).^ Two places called the 
Temple of Apollo (or Apollo Gardens) and the Temple 
of Flora, in the Westminster Bridge Road, also endea- 
voured to acquire something of a Vauxhall tone, at 

^ At Vauxhall fireworks were not introduced till 1798, but 
illuminations were always a feature of the gardens. 

2 Bermondsey Spa and Finch's Grotto, above mentioned, might 
be classed among the spas and springs, but their amusements 
resembled those of Vauxhall. 


least to the extent of having painted boxes, illumina- 
tions and music, and a variety of (imitation) singing- 
birds. These Temples were set up late in the eighteenth 
century, and came to a bad end. 

To a second division belong the gardens connected 
with mineral springs. Several of these, as we have 
already seen, date from the end of the seventeenth cen- 
tury — Islington Spa, Sadler's Wells, and the Wells of 
Pancras, Hampstead, and Lambeth. The Dog and Duck, 
Bagnigge Wells, and other springs did not become well 
known till the eighteenth century. Such places were 
usually day resorts, opening early in the morning and 
providing something in the way of breakfasting, danc- 
ing, and music. The waters were advertised, and by 
many accepted, as Universal Medicines. A rising of 
the vapours, a scorbutic humour, an inveterate cancer 
could all be cured (as "eminent physicians" constantly 
testified) by drinking these unpleasant, but probably 
harmless, beverages — if possible, on the spot, or at 
any rate in bottles sent out by the dozen and stamped 
with the proprietor's seal. Islington Spa became the 
vogue in 1733 when the Princess Amelia regularly 
attended it. The Dog and Duck waters were recom- 
mended to Mrs. Thrale by Dr. Johnson, and many 
cures vouched for by a physician attested the efficacy 
of the purging and chalybeate Wells of Bagnigge. 

But the adventitious attractions of these places had 
a tendency to obscure their importance as spas. Bag- 
nigge Wells and, to some extent, Islington Spa became 
after a time little more than tea-gardens. Sadler's lost 
sight of its Wells early in the eighteenth century, and 
relied for profit on the development of the rope-dancing 
and pantomime in its theatre. The Dog and Duck 
(St. George's Spa) became at last a tea-garden and a 
dancing-saloon which had to be suppressed as the haunt 
of " the rifF-rafF and scum of the town." Finch's Grotto 
and Bermondsey Spa, on the other hand, when their 



springs had ceased to attract, developed (as we have 
shown) into minor Vauxhalls. 

The third division of the London gardens consists of 
those that were mainly tea-gardens. Many of these 
though small and unpretending possessed a distinctly 
rural charm. Such were Highbury Barn, and the 
Canonbury House tea-gardens, Hornsey with its ro- 
mantic wood, and Copenhagen House standing alone 
in the hayfields. Bagnigge Wells and White Conduit 
House, the classic tea-gardens of London, were prettily 
laid out and pleasantly situated, but in their later days 
became decidedly cockneyfied. The great day at these 
gardefis was Sunday, especially between five and nine 
o'clock. The amusements were of a simple kind — a 
game of bowls or skittles, a ramble in the maze, and 
a more or less hilarious tea-drinking in the bowers 
and alcoves which every garden provided. In the Long 
Rooms of Bagnigge Wells, White Conduit House, and 
the Pantheon the strains of an organ, if the magistrates 
allowed the performance, might also be enjoyed. 

The season at most of the London gardens began in 
April or May, and lasted till August or September. 
The principal gardens were open during the week (not, 
regularly, on Sundays) on three or more days, and those 
of the Vauxhall type were usually evening resorts. 
Much depended, it need hardly be said, upon the state 
of the weather, and sometimes the opening for the 
season had to be postponed. When the rain came, 
the fireworks were hopelessly soaked and people took 
refuge as they could under an awning or a colonnade 
or in a Great Room. A writer in The Connoisseur of 
1755 (May 15th) only too justly remarks that our 
Northern climate will hardly allow us to indulge in 
the pleasures of a garden so feelingly described by 
the poets : •" We dare not lay ourselves on the damp 
ground in shady groves or by the purling stream," 
unless at least " we fortify our insides against the cold 


by good substantial eating and drinking. For this 
reason the extreme costliness of the provisions at our 
public gardens has been grievously complained of by 
those gentry to whom a supper at these places is as 
necessary a part of the entertainment as the singing or 
the fireworks." More than seventy years later Tom 
Moore (Diary y August 21st, 1829) describes the misery 
of a wet and chilly August night at Vauxhall — the 
gardens illuminated but empty, and the proprietor com- 
paring the scene to the deserts of Arabia. On this 
occasion, Moore and his friends supped between twelve 
and one, and had some burnt port to warm themselves. 

The charge for admission at Vauxhall, Marylebone 
Gardens, and Cuper's was generally not less than a 
shilling. Ranelagh charged half-a«crown, but this 
payment always included " the elegant regale " of tea, 
coffee, and bread and butter. The proprietors of the 
various Wells made a regular charge of threepence 
or more for drinking the water at the springs and 
pump rooms. At some of the smaller gardens a charge of 
sixpence or a shilling might be made for admission, but 
the visitor on entering was presented with a metal check 
which enabled him to recover the whole or part of his 
outlay in the form of refreshments. 

Vauxhall, Marylebone, Cuper's, and Ranelagh often 
numbered among their frequenters people of rank and 
fashion, who subscribed for season-tickets, but (with the 
possible exception of Ranelagh) were by no means exclu- 
sive or select. The Tea-gardens, and, as a rule, the 
Wells, had an aristocracy of aldermen and merchants, 
young ensigns and templars, and were the chosen 
resorts of the prentice, the sempstress, and the small 

The proprietors of gardens open in the evening found 
it necessary to provide (or to announce that they pro- 
vided) for the safe convoy of their visitors after night- 
fall. Sadler's Wells advertised "it will be moonlight," 


and provided horse patrols to the West End and the 
City. The proprietor of Belsize House, Hampstead, 
professed to maintain a body of thirty stout fellows 
** to patrol timid females or other." Vauxhall — in its 
early days usually approached by water — seems to have 
been regarded as safe, but Ranelagh and the Marylebone 
Gardens maintained regular escorts. 

In the principal gardens, watchmen and ** vigilant 
officers " were always supposed to be in attendance to 
keep order and to exclude undesirable visitors. Un- 
sparing denunciation of the morals of the chief gardens, 
such as is found in the lofty pages of Noorthouck, 
must, I am inclined to think, be regarded as rhetorical, 
and to a great extent unwarranted. On the other hand, 
one can hardly accept without a smile the statement of a 
Vauxhall guide-book of 1753, that "even Bishops have 
been seen in this Recess without injuring their character," 
for it cannot be denied that the vigilant officers had 
enough to do. There were sometimes scenes and affrays 
in the gardens, and Vauxhall andCuper's were favourite 
hunting-grounds of the London pickpocket. At the 
opening Ridotto at Vauxhall (1732) a man stole fifty 
guineas from a masquerader, but here the watchman 
was equal to the occasion, and *' the rogue was taken in 
the fact." At Cuper's on a firework night a pickpocket 
or two might be caught, but it was ten to one that 
they would be rescued on their way to justice by their 
confederates in St. George's Fields, 

The dubious character of some of the female fre- 
quenters of the best known gardens has been necessarily 
indicated in our detailed accounts of these gardens, 
though always, it is hoped, in a way not likely to cause 
offisnce. The best surety for good conduct at a public 
garden was, after all, the character of the great mass of 
its frequenters, and it is obvious that they were decent 
people enough, however wanting in graces of good- 
breeding and refinement. Moreover, from the end of 


the year 1752, when the Act was passed requiring 
London gardens and other places where music and 
dancing took place to be under a license, it was generally 
the interest of the proprietor to preserve good order for 
fear of sharing the fate of Cuper's, which was unable 
to obtain a renewal of its license after 1752, and had to 
be carried on as a mere tea-garden. The only places, 
perhaps, at which disreputable visitors were distinctly 
welcome were those garish evening haunts in St. George's 
Fields, the Dog and Duck, the Temples of Flora and 
Apollo and the Flora Tea-Gardens. All these were 
suppressed or lost their license before the end of the 
eighteenth century. 

Of the more important gardens, Marylebone and 
Cuper's ceased to exist before the close of the last 
century. Ranelagh survived till 1803 and Vauxhall 
till 1859. Finch's Grotto practically came to an end 
about 1773 and Bermondsey Spa about 1804. Many 
of the eighteenth-century tea-gardens lasted almost to 
our own time, but the original character of such places 
as Bagnigge Wells (closed 1841), White Conduit House 
(closed 1849), ^^^ Highbury Barn (closed 1871) was 
greatly altered. 

During the first thirty or forty years of the nineteenth 
century numerous gardens, large and small, were flour- 
ishing in or near London. Some of these, like Bag- 
nigge Wells, had been well-known gardens in the 
eighteenth century, while the origin of others, such 
as Chalk Farm, Camberwell Grove House, the Rose- 
mary Branch Gardens at Islington, or rather Hoxton, 
the Mermaid * Gardens, Hackney, and the Montpelier 
Gardens, Walworth, may be probably, or certainly, 
traced to the last century. These last-mentioned places, 
however, had little or no importance as public gardens 
till the nineteenth century, and have not been described 
in the present work. 

Many new gardens came into existence, and of these 


the best known are the Surrey Zoological Gardens 
(1831-1856); Rosherville (established 1837); Cre- 
morne (circ. 1 843-1 877) ; and the Eagle Tavern and 
Gardens (circ. 1825-1882), occupying the quiet domain 
of the old Shepherd and Shepherdess. 

The sale of Vguxhall Gardens in August 1859, or 
perhaps the closing of Highbury Barn in 1871, may be 
held to mark the final disappearance of the London 
Pleasure Gardens of the eighteenth century. "St. 
George's Fields are fields no more ! " and hardly a 
tree or shrub recalls these vanished pleasances of our 
forefathers. The site of Ranelagh is still, indeed, a 
garden, and Hampstead has its spring and Well Walk. 
But the Sadler's Wells of 1765 exists only in its theatre, 
and its gardens are gone, its spring forgotten, and its 
New River covered in. The public-house, which in 
London dies hard, has occupied the site, and preserved 
the name of several eighteenth-century gardens, including 
the London Spa, Bagnigge Wells, White Conduit 
House and the Adam and Eve, Tottenham Court, but 
the gardens themselves have been completely swept 

Vauxhall, Belsize House, and the Spa Fields Pantheon, 
none of them in their day examples of austere morality, 
are now represented by three churches. From the 
Marylebone Gardens, the Marylebone Music Hall 
may be said to have been evolved. Pancras Wells 
are lost in the extended terminus of the Midland 
Railway, and the Waterloo Road runs over the 
centre of Cuper's Gardens. Finch's Grotto, after 
having been a burial ground and a workhouse, is now 
the headquarters of our London Fire Brigade. Copen- 
hagen House with its fields is the great Metropolitan 
Cattle Market. The Three Hats is a bank ; Dobney's 
Bowling Green, a small court ; the Temple of Apollo, 
an engineer's factory, and the sign of the Dog and Duck 
is built into the walls of Bedlam. 



skairut^ cUsiribzitian/ oft/ie^ 
London Plsasurb Gardens 







A poetical advertisement of the year 1684^ refers 
to " the sweet gardens and arbours of pleasure" at this 
once famous resort, situated opposite the New River 
Head, Clerkenwell. The chalybeate spring in its 
grounds was discovered at or shortly before that date, 
and the proprietor in 1685 is described in the London 
Gazette ^ as *' Mr. John Langley, of London, merchant, 
who bought the rhinoceros and Islington Wells." 

The original name of the Spa was Islington Wells, 
but it soon acquired (at least as early as 1690) the 
additional title of New Tunbridge, or New Tunbridge 
Wells, by which it was generally known until about 
1754, when the name of Islington Spa came into use, 
though the old title. New Tunbridge, was never quite 

^ Islington Weils ^ a song of all the virtues of those old waters newly 
found out, London, 1684 (Brit. Mus.), cp. A morning ramble ; or 
Islington Wells burlesqt. London, 1684 (Cunningham, London^ 
1850, s.v. "Islington "). 

* London Gazette^ 24 September, 1685. 

^ Nearly all modern writers — Mr. Pinks is an exception — have in 
some way or other confused Sadler's Wells with New Tunbridge 
Wells (Islington Spa). The mistake may have first arisen from the 
circumstance that Sadler, in his printed prospectus concerning the 
discovery of the wells on his premises, describes them as " Sadler's 
New Tunbridge Wells near Islington." The sub-title of New 
Tunbridge Wells never, however, took root at Sadler's, though it 


Although the place could not at any period boast of 
the musical and " variety " entertainments of its neigh- 
bour Sadler's Wells, it soon acquired greater celebrity 
as a Spa, and from about 1690 to 1700 was much 
frequented. The gardens at this period ^ were shaded 
with limes and provided with arbours ; and, in addition 
to its coffee-house, the Spa possessed a dancing-room 
and a raffling shop.^ The charge for drinking the 
water was threepence, and the garden was open on 
two or three days in the week from April or May 
till August. 

As early as seven o'clock in the morning a few vale- 
tudinarians might be found at the Well, but most of 
the visitors did not arrive till two or three hours later. 
Between ten and eleven the garden was filled with a gay 
and, in outward seeming, fashionable throng. The com- 
pany, however, was extraordinarily mixed. Virtue and 
Vice ; Fashion and the negation of Fashion had all their 
representatives. Sir Courtly Nice drove up to the gate 
in his gilt coach, and old Sir Fumble brought his lady 
and daughter. Modish sparks and fashionable ladies, 
good wives and their children, mingled with low women 
and sempstresses in tawdry finery ; with lawyers' clerks, 
and pert shopmen ; with sharpers, bullies, and decoys. 
A doctor attended at the Well to give advice to the 
drinkers, not a few of whom came for the serious 
purpose of benefiting their health. 

But the chief attraction was the Walks ; the pro- 
menade where the beau strutted with his long sword 
beribboned with scarlet, and ladies fragrant with Powder 

was soon permanently adopted (as is stated in our text) by the rival 
Islington Wells, i,e. Islington Spa. 

^ The following details are mainly derived from Islington Wells^ 
or the Threepenny Academy, 1691, and from Edward Ward's Walk to 
Islington, 1699, fol. (Ward's Works, ii. 63, fF. cd. 1709). 

2 Ward describes the gambling places as an outhouse with sheds 
and a hovel adjoining. 


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of Orange and Jessamine discussed one another and the 
fashions : — 

Lord ! madam, did you e*er behold 

(Says one) a dress so very old ? 

Sure that commode was made, i* faith, 

In days of Queen Elizabeth ; 

Or else it was esteemed the fashion 

At Charles the Second's coronation : 

The lady, by her mantua's forebody. 

Sure takes a pride to dress like nobody.^ 

Others of more plebeian estate preferred the seclu- 
sion of an arbour snaded with climbing shrubs and 
sycamore^ where sweethearts could chat, or, if so 
minded, enjoy a late breakfast of plum-cake and ale. 
Older people retired to the coffee-house to smoke and 
talk politics over their coffee, but the man about town 
and his female friends were to be found deep at play 
in the raffling shop, or speculating in the Royal Oak 
Lottery.^ Again and again it was the Board that won, 
while the projector and the man with cogged dice in his 
pocket looked cynically on. At about eleven a.m. the 
dancing began. Music for dancing all day long was 
advertised in 1700 for every Monday and Thursday of 
the summer season. But the music of that period seems 
to have been only the harmony of three or four by no 
means accomplished fiddlers, and it is doubtful if the 
dancing ever continued beyond the morning and after- 

In the early years of the eighteenth century the Spa 
seems to have gone out of fashion,^ and in 17 14 T'he 
Field Spy speaks of it as a deserted place : — 

The ancient drooping trees unprun'd appeared ; 
No ladies to be seen ; noiiddles heard. 

1 Islington Wells ^ or the Threepenny Academy, 

2 Cp. E. Ward, "The Infallible Predictor " (Works, ii. p. 355, 
ed. 1709). • 

* An advertisement of 23 May, 17 12 (Percivars Sadler's Wells 



The patronage of royal personages at last revived its 
fortunes. In the months of May and June 1733, the 
Princess Amelia, daughter of George II., and her sister 
Caroline came regularly to drink the waters. On some 
occasions the princesses were saluted by a discharge of 
twenty-one guns, and the gardens were thronged. On 
one morning the proprietor took ^30, and sixteen hun- 
dred people are said to have been present. New Tun- 
bridge Wells once more, for a few years, became the 
vogue. Pinchbeck, the toyman, prepared a view of the 
gardens which he sold as a mount for his fans. A song 
of the time, The Charms of Dishabille^ which George 
Bickham illustrated with another view of the gardens, 
gives a picture of the scene (173 3- 1738) : — 

Behold the Walks, a chequer'd shade. 

In the gay pride of green array'd ; 

How bright the sun ! the air how still ! 

In wild confusion there we view 

Red ribbons grouped with aprons blue ; 

Scrapes, curtsies, nods, winks, smiles and frowns. 

Lords, milkmaids, duchesses and clowns. 

In their all-various dishabille. 

The same mixed company thus frequented the Spa as 
of old, and when my Lord Cobham honoured the garden 
with a visit, there were light-fingered knaves at hand to 
relieve him of his gold repeater. The physician who at this 
time attended at the Well was *' Dr.** Misaubin, famous 
for his pills, and for his design to ruin the University 
of Cambridge (which had refused him a doctor's degree) 
by sending his son to the University of Oxford. Among 
the habitues of the garden was an eccentric person 
named Martin, known as the Tunbridge Knight. He 
wore a yellow cockade and carried a hawk on his fist, 

Coll.) announces the performances from six to ten in the morning 
and from four till eight in the evening of two wonderful posture- 
makers, a man and a child of nine, to take place in the dancing- 
room of New Tunbridge Wells. 


which he named Royal Jack, out of respect to the Royal 

Fashion probably soon again deserted the Spa ; but 
from about 1750 to 1770 it was a good deal frequented 
by water-drinkers and visitors who lodged for a time at 
the Wells. One young lady of good family, who was 
on a visit to London in June 1753, wrote home to her 
friends ^ that New Tunbridge Wells was " a very pretty 
Romantick place," and the water " very much like Bath 
water, but makes one vastly cold and Hungary." A 
ticket costing eighteenpence gave admission to the 
public breakfasting^ and to the dancing from eleven 
to three. It was endeavoured to preserve the most 
perfect decorum, and no person of exceptionable cha- 
racter was to be admitted to the ball-room.^ This 
invitation to the dance reads oddly at a time when 
the Spa was being industriously recommended to the 
gouty, the nervous, the weak-kneed, and the stifF- 

In 1770 the Spa was taken by Mr. John Holland, 
and from that year, or somewhat earlier, the place was 
popular as an afternoon tea-garden. The "Sunday 
Rambler " describes it as genteel, but judging from 
George Colman's farce. The Spleen ; or Islington Spa 

1 Extract from family correspondence communicated by C. L. S. 
to Notes and Queries^ 8th ser. vi, 1894, p. 69. 

2 In 1760 the breakfasting was ninepence, the afternoon tea 
sixpence, and the coffee eightpence. No stronger beverages were 

* A serious attempt seems to have been made to keep this rule. 
The London^ Daily Advertiser for 25 June, 1752, records that a 
beautiful though notorious woman, who had appeared at the dancing 
at New Tunbridge on June 24, was, on being recognised by the 
company, turned out by a constable. 

* Dr. Russel, who analysed the water about 1733, says that it 
had a taste of iron and (unless mixed with common water) was apt 
to make the drinker giddy or sleepy. This was the experience of 
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who, however, expatiates on the 
benefit she had derived from the Spa. 



(first acted in 1776), its gentility was that of publicans 
and tradesmen. '* The Spa (says Mrs. Kubrick) grows 
as genteel as Tunbridge, Brighthelmstone, Southampton 
or Margate. Live in the most social way upon earth : 
all the company acquainted with each other. Walks, 
balls, raffles and subscriptions. Mrs. Jenkins of the 
Three Blue Balls, Mrs. Rummer and family from the 
King's Arms ; and several other people of condition, to 
be there this season ! And then Eliza's wedding, you 
know, was owing to the Spa. Oh, the watering-places 
are the only places to get young women lovers and 
husbands ! " 

In 1777, Holland became bankrupt, and next year 
a Mr. John Howard opened the gardens in the morning 
and afternoon, charging the water-drinkers sixpence or 
threepence, or a guinea subscription. He enriched the 
place with a bowling-green ^ and with a series of 
** astronomical lectures in Lent, accompanied by an 
orrery." A band played in the morning, and the 
afternoon tea-drinking sometimes (1784) took place 
to the accompaniment of French horns.^ Sir John 
Hawkins, the author of TChe History of Musky fre- 
quented the Spa for his health in 1789. On returning 
home after drinking the water one day in May (Wednes- 
day 20th, 1789) he complained of a pain in his head 
and died the next morning of a fever in the brain. 
" Whether (as a journalist of the time observes) it was 
owing to the mineral spring being taken when the blood 
was in an improper state to receive its salubrious effect, or 
whether it was the sudden visitation of Providence, the 
sight of the human mind is incompetent to discover." 

The Spa continued to be resorted to till the begin- 
ning of the present century when the water and 

^ This was between the main part of the Spa gardens and St. 
John's Street Road ; cp. Wallis's Plan^ 1808. 

2 A band had played in the morning under Holland's manage- 
ment (advertisement in the Public Advertiser^ 5 May, 1775). 


tea-drinking began to lose their attractions. The 
author of Londinium redivivumy writing about 1803,^ 
speaks, however, of the gardens with enthusiasm 
as " really very beautiful, particularly at the entrance. 
Pedestals and vases are grouped with taste under 
some extremely picturesque trees, whose foliage 
(is) seen to much advantage from the neighbour- 
ing fields." At last, about 18 10, the proprietor, 
Howard, pulled down the greater part of the old 
coffee-house,^ and the gardens were curtailed by the 
formation of Charlotte Street (now Thomas Street). 
At the same time the old entrance to the gardens, 
facing the New River Head, was removed for the build- 
ing of .Eliza Place.^ A new entrance was then made in 
Lloyd's Row, and the proprietor lived in a house 
adjoining. A later proprietor, named Hardy, opened 
the gardens in 1826 as a Spa only. The old Well was 
enclosed, as formerly, by grotto work and the garden 
walks were still pleasant. Finally in 1840, the two 
rows of houses called Spa Cottages were built upon the 
site of the gardens. 

A surgeon named Molloy, who resided about 1840- 
1842 in the proprietor's house in Lloyd's Row, pre- 
served the Well, and by printed circulars invited 
invalids to drink the water for an annual subscription 
of one guinea, or for sixpence each visit. In Molloy's 
time the Well was contained in an outbuilding attached 
to the east side of his house. The water was not adver- 
tised after his tenancy, though it continued to flow as 
late as i860. In the autumn of 1894, the writers of 
this volume visited the house and found the outbuilding 
occupied as a dwelling-room of a very humble descrip- 

^ Malcolm, Lond. rediv, iii. 230, 231. 
- - The orchestra connected with it was pulled down in 1827 ; 
Cromwell's CUrkenwell^ p. 357. 

3 No. 6, Eliza Place, stood on the site of the old entrance 


tion. Standing in this place it was impossible to realise 
that we were within a few feet of the famous Well. A 
door, which we had imagined on entering to be the door 
of a cupboard, proved to be the entrance to a small 
cellar two or three steps below the level of the room. 
Here, indeed, we found the remains of the grotto that 
had once adorned the Well, but the healing spring no 
longer flowed.^ 

Eliza Place was swept away for the formation of 
Rosebery Avenue, and the two northernmost plots of 
the three little public gardens, opened by the London 
County Council on 31 July, 1895,- ^ ^P^ Green, are 
now on part of the site of the old Spa. The Spa 
Cottages still remain, as well as the proprietor's house 
in Lloyd's Row, and beneath the coping-stone of the 
last-named the passer-by may read the inscription cut 
in bold letters : Islington Spa or New Tunbridge 

[Besides the authorities cited in the text and notes and in the 
account in Pinks's Clerkenwelly p. 398, fF., the following may be 
mentioned : — Experimental observations on the water of the 
mineral spring near Islington commonly called New Tunbridge 
Wells, London, 1751, 8vo; another ed., 1773, 8vo (the Brit. 
Mus. copy of the latter contains some newspaper cuttings) ; 
Dodsley*s London^ 1761, s.v. "Islington"; Kearsley^s Strangers' 
Guide^ s.v. "Islington"; Lewises Islington; Gent, Mag. 18 13, 
pt. 2, p. $54, if. ; advertisements, &c., in Percivars Sadler^s Wells 
Collection and in W. Coll.; Wheatley*s London, ii. 268, and iii. 

P- 1 99-] 


I. View of the gardens, coffee-house, &c., engraved frontispiece 

1 Mr. Philip Norman, writing in Notes and Queries, 8th ser. vi. 
1894, p. 457, says: — "I have seen (in the cellar of No. 6, Spa 
Cottages, behind the house at the corner of Lloyd's Row) grotto 
work with stone pilasters and on each side steps descending. Here, 
I believe, was the chalybeate spring. For many years it has ceased 
to flow." 

2 Daily Telegraph, i August, 1895. 


to Lockman's poem, Tke Humours of New Tunbridge Wells at . 

Islington^ London, 1734, 8vo (cp. Pinks, 401, note, and 402). ; 

2. View of the gardens, well, coffee-house, &c., engraved by G. • 
Bickham, jun., as the headpiece of "The Charms of Dishabille or 
New Tunbridge Wells " (Bickham^s Musical Entertainer^ I733i &c., 
vol. i. No. 42). I 

3. Engravings of the proprietor's house in Lloyd's Row ; Crom- 
well's Clerkenwell^ 35^; Pinks, 405. The house is still as there 
represented. ^ 






' 4 



The Spa Fields Pantheon stood on the south side of 
the present Exmouth Street, and occupied the site of 
the Ducking Pond House,^ a wayside inn, with a pond 
in the rear used for the sport of duck-hunting. 

The Ducking Pond premises having been acquired 
by Rosoman of Sadler's Wells, were by him sub-let to 
William Craven, a publican, who, at a cost of ^6,000, 
laid out a garden and erected on the site of the old inn 
a great tea-house called the Pantheon, or sometimes 
the Little Pantheon, when it was necessary to distinguish 
it from " the stately Pantheon'* in Oxford Street, built 
in 1 770-1 77 1, and first opened in January 1772.^ 

The Spa Fields Pantheon was opened to the public 
early in 1770, and consisted of a large Rotunda, with 
two galleries running round the whole of the interior, 
and a large stove in the centre. 

The place was principally resorted to by apprentices 
and small tradesmen, and on the afternoon and evening 
of Sunday, the day when it was chiefly frequented, 
hundreds of gaily-dressed people were to be found in 

^ A newspaper paragraph of April 1752, mentions the little 
summer house at the Ducking Pond House in Spa Fields, as being 
lately stripped of its chairs and tables by some pitiful rogues. 

2 In ^he Macaroni and Theatrical Magazine for January 1773 
(p.. 162) is the notice : — 

" Pantheons : The Nobility's, Oxford Road ; the Mobility's^ 


the Rotunda, listening to the organ, ^ and regaling them- 
selves with tea, coffee and negus, or with supplies of 
punch and red port. A nearer examination of this 
crowded assembly showed that it consisted of journey- 
men tailors, hairdressers, milliners and servant maids, 
whose behaviour, though boisterous, may have been 
sufficiently harmless. 

The proprietor endeavoured to secure the strict 
maintenance of order by selling nothing after ten 
o'clock in the evening. But his efforts, it would seem, 
were not entirely successful. "Speculator," a corre- 
spondent of the St, James's Chronicle^ who visited the 
place in May 1772, '' after coming from church,'' looked 
down from his vantage-ground in one of the galleries 
upon what he describes as a dissipated scene. To his 
observation the ladies constituted by far the greater 
part of the assembly, and he was shocked more than 
once by the request, '• Pray, Sir, will you treat me with 
a dish of tea ?'' 

A tavern with tea-rooms for more select parties stood 
on the east of the Rotunda. Behind the buildings was 
a pretty garden, with walks, shrubs and fruit trees. 
There was a pond or canal stocked with fish, and near 
it neat boxes and alcoves for the tea-drinkers. Seats 
were dispersed about the garden, the attractions of 
which were completed by a summer-house up a hand- 
some flight of stone steps, and a statue of Hercules, 
with his club, on a high pedestal. The extent of the 
garden was about four acres. 

A writer in the Town and Country Magazine for 
April 1770 (p. I95)> speaks contemptuously of the 
canal *' as about the size of a butcher's tray, where 

^ The organ appears, about 1772, to have been silenced on 
Sundays, at least for a time. A correspondent in T/re Gazetteer and 
New Daily Advertiser iot 20 June, 1772, refers to the Middlesex 
Justices who will not suffer the organs to be played at the Little 
Pantheon, White Conduit House, Bagnigge Wells, &c. 


citizens of quality and their spouses come on Sunday to 
view the amorous flutterings of a duck and drake." 
This, however, is the opinion of a fashionable gentle- 
man who goes alternately to Almack's and Cornelys's, 
while Ranelagh (he says) " affords me great relief." 

The career of the Pantheon was brief ; for in March 
1774 the building and its grounds were announced for 
sale on account of Craven's bankruptcy. According to 
the statement of the auctioneer the place was then in 
full trade, and the returns almost incredible, upwards of 
one thousand persons having sometimes been accom- 
modated in the Rotunda. It is uncertain if another 
proprietor tried his hand, if so he was probably un- 
successful, for the Pantheon was certainly closed as a 
place of amusement in 1776. 

In July 1777 the Rotunda, after having been used 
for a time as a depot for the sale of carriages, was 
openea for services of the Church of England under 
the name of Northampton Chapel. One of the 
preachers, moralising on the profane antecedents of the 
place, adopted the text, "And he called the name of 
that place Bethel, but the name of that city was called 
Luz at the first." 

The building was afterwards purchased by the 
Countess of Huntingdon, and opened in March 1779 
under the name of Spa Fields Chapel as a place of wor- 
ship in her connexion. Various alterations were at that 
time, and subsequently, made in the building, and a 
statue of Fame, sounding a trumpet, which had stood 
outside the Pantheon on the lantern surmounting the 
cupola was removed. The tavern belonging to the 
Pantheon, on the east side of the Rotunda, was occupied 
by Lady Huntingdon as her residence. It was a large 
house partly covered by branches of jessamine. 

The gardens, in the rear of the Rotunda, were con- 
verted in 1777 into the Spa Fields burial-ground, which 
became notorious in 1843 ^^^ ^^^ over-crowded and 


pestilential condition, and for some repulsive disclosures 
as to the systematic exhumation of bodies in order to 
make room for fresh interments. 

Spa Fields Chapel was pulled down in the beginning 
of 1887, ^"d the present church of the Holy Redeemer 
was erected on its site, and consecrated for services of 
the Church of England on 13 October, i888. Such 
have been the strange vicissitudes of the Pantheon tea- 
house and its gardens. 

[Pinks's CUrkenwell ; Walford, O. and N. London; The Sunday 
Ramble; Tomlins's Perambulation of Islington, "^^ 158; Notes and 
Queries, ist ser. ii. p. 404 ; Spa Fields Chapel and its Associations, 
London, 1884.] 


1. View of Northampton or Spa Fields Chapel, with the 
Coufttess of Huntingdon's house adjoining. Hamilton, del., 
Thornton sculp., 1783. Grace, Cat. p. 589, No. 43. 

2. Exterior of Chapel and Lady Huntingdon's house, engraving 
in Britton's Picture of London, 1829, p. 120. 

3. Later views of the Chapel (interior and exterior) engraved in 
Pinks's Clerkenwell, pp. 146, 147. 


The London Spa public-house, standing at the corner 
of Rosoman Street and Exmouth Street, marks the site 
of a seventeenth-century inn called The Fountain. 

A spring of chalybeate water was discovered on the 
premises of this inn about 1685, and was a special 
inducement held out to the public by the proprietor, 
John Halhed, vintner, to visit his house. In August 
1685, Halhed, in advertising the virtues of the water, 
stated that no less an authority than Robert Boyle, the 
chemist, had adjudged and openly declared it to be the 
strongest and very best of these late found out medicinal 
waters. The honest vintner, in giving other local wells 
their due, maintained that his was equivalent, if not 
better, in virtue, goodness, and operation, to that of 
Tunbridge (so mightily cry'd up) or any other water 
yet known. On 14 July, 1685, the house was 
solemnly nominated and called the London Spaw, by 
Robert Boyle, in the presence of " an eminent, knowing, 
and more than ordinary ingenious apothecary . . . 
besides the said John Halhed and other sufficient men.'' 
The name of the Fountain seems thenceforth to have 
been superseded by that of the London Spa. In inviting 
persons of quality to make a trial of the spring, Halhed 
expressed the wish that the greatness of his accommoda- 
tion were suitable to the goodness of his waters, although 
he was not without convenient apartments and walks for 
both sexes. The poor were to be supplied with the 
water gratis. 


For a few years subsequent to 17 14 the place appears 
to have fallen into neglect ; but it afterwards was once 
more frequented, and in 1720 the author of May Day ^ 
writes : — 

Now nine-pin alleys, and now skettles grace, 
The late forlorn, sad, desolated place ; 
Arbours of jasmine fragrant shades compose 
And numerous blended companies enclose. 

On May-day the milk-maids and their swains danced 
in the gardens to the music of the fiddler. Holiday folk 
flocked to test the virtues of the spring, and from this 
time onwards, the London Spa enjoyed some degree of 
popularity. In the summer of 1733, Poor Robins 
Almanack records how — 

Sweethearts with their sweethearts go 
To Islington or London Spaw ; 
Some go but just to drink the water, 
Some for the ale which they like better. 

The annual Welsh fair, held in the Spa Field hard 
by, must have brought additional custom to the tavern, 
and in 1754 the proprietor, George Dodswell, informed 
the public that they would meet with the most inviting 
usage at his hands, and that during the fair there would 
be the " usual entertainment of roast porfc with the oft- 
famed flavoured Spaw ale." From this date onwards 
the London Spa would appear to have been merely 
frequented as a tavern.^ The present public-house was 
built on the old site in 1835. 

1 May Day J or the Origin of Gar lands y a poem published in 1720. 
The Field Spy^ published in 17 14 (Rogers, f^iews of Pleasure 
Gardens of London^ p. 46), speaks of the spring and garden as if a 
good deal frequented in 17 14. 

* A rare bronze ticket of oblong form, incised with the words, 
** London Spaw No. 19," is in the possession of Mr. W. T. Ready, 
the London coin dealer. It may belong to about the middle of 
the last century. 



[The London Spaw, an advertisement, August 1685, folio sheet 
in British Museum ; Pinks's C ierkenzoeliJ] 


1. A view of the London Spa in Lempriere's set of views, 1731; 
Grace, Cat, p. 588, No. 41. Cp. Pinks's Clerkenwell^ p. 168. 

2. Engraving of the Spa garden, T. Badeslade, inv. ; S. Parker, 
sculp.; frontispiece to May Day^ or the Origin of Garlands^ 1720. 

'•• *•. 

••- •-. . . . 



Houses in Lower Rosoman Street,^ Clerkenwell, 
west side, about one hundred yards from the London 
Spaw public-house, now occupy the site of this place of 

The New Wells commanded a pleasant prospect of 
the fields and country beyond ; but nothing is known of 
the medicinal waters, and the prominent feature of the 
place was a theatre, probably intended to rival Sadler's 
Wells, in which entertainments, consisting of dancing, 
tumbling, music and pantomime were given from 1737 
(or earlier ^) till 1750. The purchase of a pint of wine 
or punch was generally the passport necessary for ad- 
mission, and the gardens were open on Sunday as well 
as on week-day evenings. The entertainments usually 
began at five o'clock, and concluded about ten. In 
1738, there were comic songs and dancing, an exhibition 

^ Rosoman Street was called after Mr. Rosoman, who about 
1756 built the west side, which was then called Rosoman Row. 
Rosoman, who acted at the New Wells in 1744, was the well- 
known proprietor of Sadler's Wells. Pinks (Clerkenwelf) states 
that the houses numbered (in his time) 5 to 8 occupied the site of 
the Wells. 

2 The New Wells seem to have been already established in 1737. 
The earliest advertisement quoted in Pinks is of 1738, but there 
are earlier advertisements (W. Coll.), May to August 1737, in one 
of which reference is made to the alterations in the theatre that 



of views of Vauxhall, and a whimsical, chymical and 
pantomimical entertainment«called the Sequel. 

During the next year (1739) similar entertainments 
were given, and Mr. Blogg sang the '* Early Horn," and 
" Mad Tom " with a preamble on the kettledrums by 
Mr. Baker. At this time the place possessed a kind of 
Zoological Gardens, for there was then to be seen a fine 
collection of large rattlesnakes, one having nineteen rattles 
and " seven young ones," a young crocodile imported 
from Georgia, American darting and flying squirrels, 
" which may be handled as any of our own," and a cat 
between the tiger and leopard, perfectly tame, and one 
of the most beautiful creatures that ever was in England. 
This show could be seen for a shilling. 

In 1740 a Merlin's Cave was added to the attractions 
of the gardens (cp. " Merlin's Cave," infra)^ and 
there was displayed a firework representation of the 
siege of Portobello by Admiral Vernon. On 3 
July, 1742,^ Monsieur and Madame Brila from 
Paris and their little son, three years old, exhibited 
several curiosities of balancing, and the two Miss 
Rayners, rope-dancing. There were songs and danc- 
ing ; a hornpipe by Mr. Jones of Bath, who 
played the fiddle as he danced, and an exhibition of 
views of the newly opened Rotunda at Ranelagh. In 
June 1744 there was a pantomime, The Sorceress^ or 
Harlequin Savoyard ; the part of Harlequin being sus- 
tained by Mr. Rosoman. A dance of Indians in 
character concluded an entertainment witnessed by a 
crowded and ** polite " audience of over seven hundred 
persons. In August of the same year a Mr. Dominique 
jumped over the heads of twenty-four men with drawn 
swords ; Madam Kerman performed on the tight-rope, 
danced on stilts, and (according to the advertisements) 
jumped over a garter ten feet high. 

1 Daily Post^ 3 July, 1742 (quoted in Gent. Mag, 181 3, pt. ii. 
p. 561). 


Next came to the Wells (1745) a youthful giant 
seven feet four inches high, though under sixteen years 
of age, who occasionally exhibited his proportions on 
the rope. In 1 746 there appeared a Saxon Lady Giantess 
seven feet high, and the wonderful little Polander, a 
dwarf two feet ten inches in height, of the mature age 
of sixty, " in every way proportionable, and wears his 
beard after his own country's fashion." During this 
year Miss Rayner performed the feat of walking up an 
inclined rope, one hundred yards long, extending from 
the stage to the upper gallery, having two lighted flam- 
beaux in her hands. 

The same year (1746) witnessed the celebration at 
Sadler's Wells and other places of entertainment in 
London of the victory of the Duke of Cumberland at 
Culloden. At the New Wells were given representa- 
tions of the battle, and the storming of Culloden House. 
Mr. Yeates ^ (or Yates), the manager at this time, in 
acknowledging his gratification at the applause mani- 
fested, regretted that on the appearance of Courage 
(the character symbolising the Duke of Cumberland) 
several hearty Britons exerted their canes in such a 
torrent of satisfaction as to cause considerable damage 
to his benches. About this period Mrs. Charlotte 
Charke (the youngest daughter of CoUey Cibber the 
dramatist) appeared at the Wells as Mercury in the 
play of Jupiter and Alcmena, 

From 1747 to 1750 the theatre and gardens re- 
mained closed, but after having been considerably 
improved they were re-opened on 16 April, 1750. 
Towards the close of this year, Hannah Snell made her 
appearance and went through a number of military 
exercises in her regimentals. This warlike lady, who 
had served under the name of James Gray as a marine 
at the siege of Pondicherry, and who had been several 
times wounded in action, was one of the first party 

^ Doran's London in Jacobite TimeSy 11. pp. 148, 149. 

D 2 


that forded the river, breast high, under the enemy's 
fire. She worked laboriously in the trenches, and 
performed picket duty for seven nights in succes- 

The entertainments at the New Wells appear to 
have ceased about 1750. In 1752 the proprietor, 
Yeates, let the theatre to the Rev. John Wesley, and 
in May of that year, it was converted into a Methodist 
tabernacle. A few years later the theatre was removed, 
probably in 1756, when Rosoman Row (now Rosoman 
Street) was formed. 

[Cromweirs Clerkenwell^ p. 254 ; Pinks's Clerkentoell ; news- 
paper advertisements, W. Coll.]. 


The English Grotto was in existence in 1760, and is 
described as standing in the fields, near the New River 
Head. A view of that date ^ represents it as a small 
wooden building resembling the London Spa. A flag 
is flying from the roof, and some well-dressed people 
are seen walking near it. A garden, with a curious 
grotto and water-works, were probably its only attrac- 

It may be conjectured that this English Grotto is 
identical with the Grotto Garden in Rosoman Street, 
which was kept in (or before) 1769 ^ by a man named 

^ The English Grotto has escaped the minute research of Mr. 
Pinks, and his continuator Mr. Woods (cp. however, Daniel, 
Merrie England^ i. chap. ii. p. 33). It is practically known only 
from the following views : — 

(i) A view of the English Grotto, near the New River Head. 
Chatelain del. et sculp. 1760. Grace, Cat. p. 591, 
No. 60 (cp. engraving (circ, 1760), without artist's 
name, in W. Coll.). 

(2) The Grotto, near the New River Head, 1760. A drawing 

in Indian ink. Grace, Cat. p. 590, No. 59. 

(3) A water-colour copy of No. i byR. B. Schnebellie. Grace, 

Cat. p. 591, No. 61. 
2 The continuator of Pinks (p. 740) quotes advertisements of 
1769, without, however, specifying the newspapers referred to. 
J. T. Smith, Book for a Rainy Day, p. 70, refers to the Grotto Garden 
as being kept by Jackson in 1779. Pinks (p. 169) mentions the 
fountain and Grotto in 1780, and describes the site. 



Jackson, a successful constructor of grottoes, and con- 
trivances of water-works. In 1769 he advertised the 
place as his Grand Grotto Garden, and gold and silver 
Jish Repository, In the garden was a wonderful grotto ; 
an enchanted fountain ; and a water-mill, invented by 
the proprietor, which when set to work represented 
fireworks, and formed a beautiful rainbow. A variety 
of gold and silver fish, *' which aflford pleasing ideas 

to every spectator" might be purchased at this re- 
pository. Sixpence was sometimes charged for admis- 
sion, and a number of people are said to have resorted 
there daily. The place was still in Jackson's possession 
in 1780. 

The house and Grotto Garden were at the north-east 
corner of Lower Rosoman Street (originally Rosoman 
Row), almost facing the London Spa. About 1 800 the 
house, or its later representative, was No. 35, Lower 


Rosoman Street, and in its garden were some remains of 
the wonderful grotto. From the windows there was 
still a pleasing prospect of the country for many miles. 
In this house Mr. Pickburn, the printer, first published 
The Clerkenwell News in 1855, ^^^ continued to print 
the newspaper there until 1862. 

[For authorities and views, see notes.] 


The Mulberry Garden in Clerkenwell, the site of 
which was afterwards occupied by the House of De- 
tention, was open in 1742, but contrary to the 
usual practice, the proprietor (W. Body) made no 
charge for admission, relying for profit on the sale of 

It was a somewhat extensive garden wth a large 
pond, gravelled walks, and avenues of trees. From the 
seats placed beneath the shade of a great mulberry tree, 
probably one of those introduced into England in the 
reign of James I., the players in the skittle-alley might 
often be watched at their game. The garden was open 
from 6 p.m. in the spring and summer, and, especially 
between 1742 and 1745, was advertised in the news- 
papers with extravagant eulogy. '' Rockhoutt ^ (the 
proprietor declared) has found one day and night's Al 
Fresco in the week to be inconvenient ; Ranelagh 
House, supported by a giant whose legs will scarcely 
support him ^ ; Mary le Bon Gardens, down on their 
marrow- bones ; New wells ^ at low water ; at Cuper's * 
the fire almost out." The attractions offered were a 
band of wind and string instruments in an orchestra in 

^ Rockhoutt = Rockholt House in Essex. 

2 The legs referred to are those of Sir Thomas Robinson, the 
principal proprietor of Ranelagh, nicknamed Long Sir Thomas. 

3 The New Wells, Clerkenwell. 
* Cuper's Gardens, Lambeth. 


the garden and occasional displays of fireworks and 
illuminations. The proprietor professed (6 April, 1743) 
to engage British musicians only, maintaining that " the 
manly vigour of our own native music is more suitable 
to the ear and heart of a Briton than the effeminate 
softness of the Italian." On cold evenings the band 
performed in the long room. On 2 September, 1742, 
the proprietor excused himself from a pyrotechnic 
display on the ground that it was the doleful com- 
memoration of the Fire of London. On 9 August, 
1744, there was a special display of fireworks helped 
out by the instrumental music of the " celebrated Mr. 
Bennet." At this fete " honest Jo Baker " beat a 
Trevally on his side drum as he did before the great 
Duke of Marlborough when he defeated the French at 
the Battle of Malplaquet. This entertainment must 
have been popular, for beyond the sixteen hundred 
visitors who were able to gain admission, some five 
hundred others are said to have been turned away. On 
25 August, in the same year, another firework display 
was given, and on this occasion the proprietor con- 
descended to make a charge of twopence per head for 

The gardens do not appear to have been advertised 
between 1745 and 1752, during which period they were 
probably kept by a Mrs. Bray, who died on i March, 
1752, '* with an excellent good character." Beyond 
this, her obituary only records that she " is thought to 
have been one of the fattest women in London." In 
1752 the gardens were in the hands of Clanfield, the 
firework engineer of Cuper's Gardens, who every sum- 
mer evening provided vocal and instrumental music, 
from six o'clock, and fireworks at nine.^ The admis- 
sion was sixpence with a return of threepence in re- 

1 Newspaper advertisement in " Public Gardens " collection in 
Guildhall Library, London. 


Fashionable gentlemen appear to have played an 
occasional game of ninepins or skittles in the Mulberry 
Garden, but on the whole the place enjoyed only a 
local celebrity among tradesmen and artisans, and its 
proprietor, in elegant language,^ made his appeal to 
" the honest Sons of trade and industry after the fatigues 
of a well-spent day,'' and invited the Lover and the 
jolly Bacchanalian to sit beneath the verdant branches in 
his garden. 

Nothing is known of the garden subsequent to 1752. 
The site was used about 1797 as the exercising ground 
of the Clerkenwell Association of Volunteers, and the 
House of Detention (now replaced by a Board School) 
was subsequently built on it. 

[Pinks's ClerkentvelL'] 


Two engravings, probably contemporary, showing well-dressed 
gentlemen playing at ninepins near the mulberry tree : Guildhall 
Library, London (CataL p. 210). One of these views is engraved 
in Pinks, p. T28. 

1 Advertisement in Daily Advertiser^ 8 July, 1745. 


Towards the close of the seventeenth century there 
stood on the site of the present Sadler's Wells Theatre 
(Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell), a wooden building of 
a single story erected by Sadler, a surveyor of the high- 
ways, as a Music House. The house stood in its own 
grounds, and the New River flowed past its southern 

It was in the garden of this house that in 1683 some 
workmen in Sadler's employ accidentally unearthed an 
ancient well, arched over and curiously carved. Sadler, 
suspecting the water to have medicinal properties, sub- 
mitted it for analysis to a doctor, who advised him to 
brew ale with it. This he did with such excellent 
results that the ale of Sadler's Wells became, and long 
remained, famous. In 1684, Dr. Thomas Guidot 
issued a pamphlet setting forth the virtues of the water 
which he described as a ferruginous chalybeate, akin to 
the waters of Tunbridge Wells, though not tasting so 
strongly of steel and having more of a nitrous sulphur 
about it. Being neither offensive nor unpleasant to 
taste, a man was able to drink more of it than of any 
other liquor. It might be taken with a few carraway 
comfits, some elecampane, or a little preserved angelica 
to comfort the stomach. A glass of Rhenish or white 
wine might also accompany the tonic, and habitual 
smokers would find it very convenient to take a pipe 
after drinking. 


Sadler lost no time in advertising his Wells,^ and in 
preparing for the reception of the water-drinkers. He 
laid out his garden with flowers and shrubs, and con- 
structed in the centre a marble basin to receive the 
medicinal water. Posturers, tumblers and rope-dancers, 
performing at first in the open-air, were engaged. A 
Mrs. Pearson played on the dulcimer on summer even- 
ings at the end of the Long Walk, and visitors danced 
to the strains of a band stationed on a rock of shell- 
work construction. The place soon became popular, 
and hundreds of people came daily to drink the water. 

Epsom and Tunbridge Wells (in Kent) saw in 
Sadler's Wells a serious rival to their own spas, and in 
1684 a tract was issued protesting against this " horrid 
plot " laid to persuade people that " Sadler's Musick 
House is South-Borrow and Clarkenwell Green Caverley 
Plain." Was it possible for water from such a source 
to " bee effectual as our wonder-working fountains that 
tast of cold iron, and breathe pure nitre and sulphur " ? 
Audacious and unconscionable Islington should surely 
be content with its monopoly from time immemorial of the 
sale of cakes, milk, custards, stewed prunes, and bottled 
ale. But even if the waters " could be conceited some- 
what comparable, where is the air ? Where the diver- 
sions ? Where the conveniences ? '' 

Possibly this tirade was not ineffectual ; at any rate, 
about 1687 the place was comparatively deserted and 
the well fell into disuse. " Sadler's excellent steel waters" 
were, however, again advertised in 1 697 as being as full of 
vigour, strength and virtue as ever they were and very 
effectual for curing all hectic and hypochondriacal heat, 
for beginning consumptions and for melancholy dis- 
tempers. The water-drinking appears to have finally 

^ Sadler originally advertised the place as " Sadler's New Tun- 
bridge Wells," but it soon became known simply as Sadler's Wells. 
On the confusion with the neighbouring New Tunbridge Wells 
(Islington Spa), see Islington Spa, sufray note 3. 


ceased early in the eighteenth century ; ^ though the 
place, surrounded by fields till quite late in the century, 
remained a pleasant resort for Londoners. 

There you may sit under the shady trees 

And drink and smoke fanned by a gentle breeze.^ 

There pleasant streams of Middlcton 

[n gentle murmurs glide along 

In which the sporting fishes play 

To close each wearied Summer's day. 

And Musick's charms in lulling sounds 

Of mirth and harmony abounds ; 

While nymphs and swains with beaux and belles 

All praise the joys of Sadler's Wells. 

The herds around o'er herbage green 

And bleating flocks are sporting seen 

While Phcebus with its brightest rays 

The fertile soil doth seem to praise.^ 

As late as 1 803 mention is made of the tall poplars, 
graceful willows, sloping banks and flowers of Sadler's 
Wells ; and the patient London fisherman, like his 
brethren of the angle of the eighteenth century, still 
stood by the stream.* 

From about 1698 the gardens ceased to be a promi- 
nent feature of Sadler's Wells, and the fortunes of the 
place from that time to the present day mainly concern 
the historian of the Theatre and the Variety Stage, and 
can only be dealt with briefly in the present work. 

In 1698 (23 May) a vocal and instrumental concert 
was given, and the company enjoyed such harmony as 
can be produced by an orchestra composed of violins, 

1 About 1800 the forgotten well was accidentally re-discovered 
between the stage door and the New River. 

2 A poem by William Garbott, entitled the New River, published 
probably about 1725. 

8 A new song on Sadler"* s Weils, set by Mr. Brett, 1 740. 

* The Sadler's Wells anglers are mentioned in the Field Spy, a 
poem of 1 7 14. The New River remained open until 1861-62, 
when it was covered in. 


hautboys, trumpets and kettle-drums. This was one of 
the concerts given in the Music House twice a week 
throughout the season and lasting from ten o'clock to one. 
In 1699 James Miles and Francis Forcer (^. 1705 ?), 
a musician, appear to have been joint proprietors of 
Sadler's Wells, which was for some years styled Miles's 
Music House, In this year (1699) there was an ex- 
hibition of an " ingurgitating monster," a man, who, for 

a stake of five guineas, performed the hardly credible 
feat of eating a live cock. This disgusting scene was 
witnessed by a very rough audience, including however 
some beaux from the Inns of Court. A brightly painted 
gallery in the saloon used for the entertainments appears 
to have been occupied by the quieter portion of the 
audience, who were able from thence to survey the pit 
below, which was filled, according to Ned Ward (^circ. 
1699), with butchers, bailiiFs, prize-fighters, and house- 


breakers. The audience smoked and regaled themselves 
with ale and cheese-cakes ; while the organ played, a 
scarlet-clad fiddler performed, and a girl of eleven gave 
a sword dance. 

In 17 12, Miles's Music House was the scene of a 
fatal brawl in which Waite, a lieutenant in the Navy, 
was killed by a lawyer named French, ** near the organ- 
loft." In 1 7 1 8 it is mentioned as the resort of " stroll- 
ing damsels, half-pay officers, peripatetic tradesmen, 
tars, butchers and others musically inclined.'' 

Miles died in 1724 and probably about that time 
Forcer's son, Francis Forcer, junior {d, 1743), an 
educated man of good presence, became proprietor and 
improved the entertainments of rope-dancing and 
tumbling. The neighbourhood of Sadler's Wells about 
this period was infested by foot-pads. It was conse- 
quently a common sight to see link-boys with their 
flaming torches standing outside the theatre, and horse 
patrols were often advertised {circ, 173 3- 1783) as 
escorts to the City and the West End. Occasionally 
the play-bills announced : — " It will be moonlight." 

In 1746 Rosoman was proprietor, and introduced 
the system of admitting the pit and gallery free, on 
the purchase of a pint of wine. A charge of half-a- 
crown was made for the boxes. The audience smoked 
and toasted one another. The man-servant by day 
became a beau at night ; and with the lady's-maid, 
decked out in colours filched from her mistress, gazed 
open-mouthed at the wonderful sights. Winifred 
Jenkins describes her experiences, in Humphry Clinker 
(1771) : — "I was afterwards of a party at Sadler's 
Well, where I saw such tumbling and dancing on ropes 
and wires that I was frightened and ready to go into 
a fit. I tho't it was all enchantment, and believing 
myself bewitched, began for to cry. You knows as 
how the witches in Wales fly on broom-sticks ; but 
here was flying without any broom-stick or thing in 


the varsal world, and firing of pistols in the air and 
blowing of trumpets and singing, and rolling of wheel- 
barrows on a wire (God bliss us !) no thicker than a 
sewing thread ; that to be sure they must deal with the 
Devil. A fine gentleman with a pig's tail and a golden 
sord by his side, came to comfit me and offered for to 
treat me with a pint of wind ; but I would not stay ; 
and so in going through the dark passage he began 
to show his cloven futt and went for to be rude ; 
my fellow sarvant Umphry Klinker bid him be sivil, 
and he gave the young man a dous in the chops ; but 
i' fackins Mr. Klinker warn't long in his debt ; with a 
good oaken sapling he dusted his doublet, for all his 
golden cheese-toaster ; and fipping me under his arm 
carried me huom, I nose not how, being I was in such a 

Between 1752 and 1757 Michael Maddox exhibited 
his wire-dancing and his tricks with a long straw, which 
he manipulated while keeping his balance on the wire. 
In 1755 (and for many years afterwards) Miss Wilkin- 
son, the graceful wire-dancer and player of the musical 
glasses, was a principal performer. 

Giuseppe Grimaldi (" Iron Legs'*) the father of the 
famous clown, was the ballet-master and chief dancer 
in 1763 and 1764 ; and remained at the Wells till 
1767. Harlequinades and similar entertainments were 
from this time added to the ordinary amusements of 
tumbling and rope-dancing. 

In 1765 Rosoman pulled down the old wooden house 
and erected in its place a new theatre which in part 
survives in the building of the present day. The seats 
now had backs with ledges, as in our music-halls, to 
hold the bottles and glasses of the audience. About 
this time, or a few years later, the charge for a box 
was three shillings including a pint of wine (port. 
Mountain, Lisbon or punch), and eighteen pence and 
one shilling for the pit and gallery ; an extra sixpence 



entitling the ticket-holder to a pint of the wine 
allowed to the box-h(Hders. Angelo, at a later time, 
refers in his Reminiscences to the Cream of Tartar 
Punch and the wine of the Sloe Vintage usually drunk 
at Sadler's Wells. 

Among the vocalists were Mrs. Lampe (1766-1767) 
and the famous Thomas Lowe (1771 and later). In 
1768 Spinacuti exhibited his wonderful monkey which 
performed on the tight-rope feats resembling Blondin's. 
Jemmy Warner, the clown, appeared in 1769, and 
Richer, the wire and ladder dancer, in 1773 ; and the 
years 1775 ^^^ ^11^ were noticeable for the appearance 
of James Byrne, the harlequin, father of Oscar Byrne. 
In 1778 the interior of the theatre was entirely altered 
and the roof considerably raised. The audience now 
often included people of rank, such as the Duke and 
Duchess of York and the Duke and Duchess of 

In 1781 Joseph Grimaldi {b, 1779,//. 1837) rnade 
his first appearance at Sadler's in the guise of a monkey, 
and appeared there year by year till within a few years 
of his retirement. On 17 March, 1828, he took a 
farewell benefit there, playing "Hock," the drunken 
prisoner in " Sixes, or the Fiend." His final appear- 
ance was at Drury Lane on 27 June, 1828, when, 
prematurely broken down in health, he sang, seated, 
his last song, and made his farewell speech. 

The Dibdins, Charles the elder in 1772 and Charles 
the younger, 1801 to 18 14, wrote many plays and 
songs for Sadler's Wells. Charles the younger and 
Thomas Dibdin were also proprietors and managers. 

Among the performers who appeared between the 
years 1780 and 1801 were Miss Romanzini, the ballad- 
vocalist, afterwards Mrs. Bland. Braham (then Master 
Abrahams) the singer; Paul Redige the clever tumbler, 
called "the little Devil"; La Belle Espagnole, his 
wife; Dighton and *'Jew" Davis, pantomimists ; 


Bologna and his sons in their exhibitions of postures 
and feats of strength ; Placido the tumbler, Dubois the 
clown, and Costello (1783), whose wonderful dogs 
enacted a play called The Deserter. Edmund Kean, 
the tragedian, appeared in June 1801 as "Master 
Carey, the pupil or Nature," and recited Rollo's address 
from Pizarro. 

!, 1768. 

Among the varied entertainments at Sadler's may be 
mentioned the pony-races in 1802 (July) and 1822 
(April and June), A course was formed by means of a 
platform carried from the st^e round the back of 
the pit. In 1806 and 1826 a racecourse was formed 
outside in the ground to the east of the theatre ; 
booths, stands, and a judge's box were erected, and 
many of the most celebrated full-sized ponies with a 
number of jockeys of "great celebrity" and light- 


weight were, at least according to the bills, engaged. 
In 1826 (June) a balloon ascent from the grounds was 
made by Mrs. Graham, and in 1838 her husband also 
ascended. Belzoni, the famous excavator, exhibited 
his feats of strength in 1803. In 1804 Sadler's Wells 
was known as the '* Aquatic Theatre." A large tank 
filled with water from the New River occupied nearly 
the whole of the stage, and plays were produced with 
cascades and other "real water" effects. 

Our rapid survey, omitting many years, now passes 
on to 1844, when Samuel Phelps became one of the 
proprietors of Sadler's Wells. During Phelps's memor- 
able management (i 844-1 862) there were produced 
some thirty of Shakespeare's plays, occupying about 
four thousand nights — Hamlet being played four 
hundred times. 

In 1879 Sadler's Wells was taken by Mrs. Bateman 
(from the Lyceum Theatre), and under her manage- 
ment the whole of the interior was reconstructed. At 
the present time it is a music-hall with two houses 
nightly. It is curious to note that Macklin, describing 
Sadler's Wells as he remembered it some years before 
Rosoman's time, says that several entertainments of 
unequal duration took place throughout the day, and 
were terminated by the door-keeper calling out " Is 
Hiram Fisteman here ? " Fisteman being a mythical 
personage whose name signified to the performers that 
another audience was waiting outside. The price of 
admission at that time was threepence and sixpence ; 
to-day the charge is twopence, a box being procurable 
for a shilling. 

[The authorities are numerous. The Percival collection relating 
to Sadler's Wells (in Brit. Mus.) contains a great mass of material 
bound in fourteen volumes. Useful summaries are given in Pinks's 
Clerkenwelly 409, ff; in the Era Almanack^ 1872, p. i, if; in 
M. Williams's Some London Theatres ; and in H. Barton Baker's 
London Stage^ ii. p. 187, if] 



The views, especially those of the 19th century, are abundant. 
The following are of the i8th century : — 

1. A view of Sadler's Wells. C. Lempriere, sculp., 1731. 
Grace, Cat., p. 593, No. yj ; cp. i6, p. 592, No. ^6. 

2. Hogarth's Evening, showing old Sadler's Wells and the Sir 
Hugh Middleton tavern. 

3. South-west view of Sadler's Wells, from a drawing by R. C. 
Andrews, 1792 ; with a smaller view of the same in its former 
state. .Wise, sc, published in Wilkinson's Londina lllustrata. 

Many others may be seen in the Percival and Grace collections. 


The Merlin's Cave, a tavern standing in the fields 
near the New River Head, close to the present Merlin's 
Place, possessed extensive gardens and a skittle-ground, 
which were frequented by Londoners especially on 

It was probably built in 1735 or not long afterwards^ 
and derived its name from the Merlin's Cave con- 
structed in 1735 by Queen Charlotte in the Royal 
Gardens at Richmond. The Richmond Cave was 
adorned by astrological symbols, and contained wax- 
work figures, of which the wizard Merlin was the chief. 
By the end of 1735 bumble imitations of the Cave were 
established in various parts of the Kingdom, and it 
is highly probable that the Merlin's Cave tavern had 
an exhibition of this kind. The New Wells in Lower 
Rosoman Street, Clerkenwell, possessed a Merlin's Cave 
in 1740.2 

About 1833 the gardens of the Merlin's Cave were 
built over. The New Merlin's Cave, a public-house 

* A newspaper cutting in " Public Gardens " collection in 
Guildhall Library, records the death on 2 February, 1786, of Mr?. 
Bennet, of Merlin's Cave, Spa Fields, who was the successor of her 
uncle, Mr. Hood. 

* A view of the Merlin's Cave at Richmond forms the frontis- 
piece of Gent, Mag. ^73 5 > on the cave, see Walford's Greater 
Londofiy ii. 34$, if 


now numbered 131 Rosoman Street, stands a little 
north of the old site. 

[Pinks's Clerkenwelly 580, 581 ; Wheatley's Londony^.vJ] 


1. A view of the skittle-ground, Merlin's Cave, New River 
Head, with rules and instructions for playing. A print published 
by G. Kearsley, 1786. Crace, Cat, p. 592, No. 71. 

2. Old Merlin's Cave near the New River Head, Rosoman 
Street. A drawing by C. H. Matthews, 1833. Crace, Cat. 
p. 592, No. 70. 


A MODERN public-house, " Ye olde Bagnigge Wells," 
standing on the west side of the King's Cross Road 
(formerly Bagnigge Wells Road), and the building 
yard of Messrs. Cubitt, behind it, now occupy part 
of the site of these famous Wells. 

Bagnigge House, the building which formed the 
nucleus of the place of entertainment called Bagnigge 
Wells, is believed to have been a summer residence 
of Nell Gwynne. It fronted Bagnigge Wells Road, 
and was pleasantly situated, lying in a hollow called 
Bagnigge Wash (or Vale) ; and being well sheltered 
on all sides, except the south, by the rising grounds 
of Primrose Hill, Hampstead and Islington.^ 

^ A square stone bearing the inscription given below was, about 
1760, over an old gateway in the wall to the north of the Long 
Room, and was still there in 1843. In 1850 it was to be seen in 
Coppice Row, now Farringdon Road. 

S T 






The Finder a Wakefielde (the modern representative of which 
stands near the old site in Gray's Inn Road) was a tavern; and 
some writers have inferred from the aboveinscription that Bagnigge 
Wells itself was a place of entertainment as early as 1680. 


In 1757 a Mr. Hughes, described as a man curious 
in gardening, and apparently the tenant of Bagnigge 
House, found that the more he watered his plants with 
the water drawn from a well in the garden, the less 
they seemed to thrive. He asked the opinion of a 
doctor, John Bevis, who analysed the water, and pro- 
nounced it a valuable chalybeate. At the same time 
the water of another well, sunk in the ground adjoining 
Bagnigge House, was discovered to possess cathartic 
properties. Hughes, realising the commercial possi- 
bilities of these wells, opened the house and gardens 
to the public, at least as early as April 1759. The 
place was open daily, including Sundays, and in 1760 
Bevis published a pamphlet, setting forth the virtues of 
the waters. 

The chalybeate well was situated just behind the 
house, and the cathartic well about forty yards north 
of the chalybeate. The water of the two wells, which 
were each some twenty feet' in depth, was, however, 
brought to one point, and thence drawn from a double 
pump placed within a small circular edifice consisting of 
pillars supporting a dome, erected behind the house. 
This was commonly called the Temple. The chalybeate 
was of a ferruginous character having "an agreeable 
and sprightly sub-acid tartness," and was, according to 
Bevis, " apt to communicate a kind of giddiness with 
an amazing flow of spirits and afterwards a propensity 
to sleep if exercise be not interposed." The purging 
water left a " distinguishable brackish bitterness on the 
palate," and three half-pints were " sufficient for most 
people," without the addition of salts to quicken their 

The charge for drinking the water at the pump was 
threepence : half a guinea entitled the visitor to its use 
throughout the season. At a later date when Bagnigge 
Wells was mainly frequented for its tea-gardens, a 
general charge of sixpence was made for admission. 


The Long Room,^ the old banqueting hall of Bag- 
nigge House, was about seventy-eight feet by twenty- 
eight feet with a rather low ceiling and panelled walls. 
At one end of the room was a distorting mirror, a 
source of considerable amusement, which, for instance, 
revealed to Captain Tommy Slender of the Middlesex 
Militia, so odd a figure, that he was almost "hyp'd to 
death." Filled with apprehension he consulted a phy- 
sician, who understanding the use of the concave and 
convex mirror made his patient take copious draughts 
of the water, and, after pocketing his fee, led him 
to another panel of the glass, where the Captain beheld 
a portly well-conditioned man. Vastly pleased he went 
home convinced of the virtues of the wells. At the 
other end of the room was a good organ ^ which 
provided music for the company. A water organ was 
also to be heard in the grounds. The organ per- 
formances were prohibited on Sundays by the magis- 
trates from about 1772, apparently with the idea of 
rendering the attractions of Bagnigge Wells less danger- 
ously seductive. The organ was, however, played 
regularly on the week-day afternoons.^ 

From about 1760 till near the end of the eighteenth 
century Bagnigge Wells was a popular resort. Some 
hundreds of visitors were sometimes to be found in the 
morning for the water-drinking, and early breakfasts 

^ Over one of the chimney-pieces of the room was the garter 
of the order of St. George, in relief, and over another the bust of a 
woman in Roman dress, popularly supposed to represent Nell 
Gwynne. This bust was let into a circular cavity of the wall, 
bordered with festoons of fruit and flowers moulded in delf earth 
and coloured after nature. Owing to the number of visitors 
promenading in the Long Room to the hindrance of the waiters, 
the room was, before 1797, divided into two, though we are told 
that the "former elegance " remained. 

2 The organ and its organist (under Davis), Charley Griffith, are 
shown in an engraving *' The Bagnigge Organfist " (undated). 
" Published for the benefit of decayed musicians." 

^ Picture of London, 1802. 

• «■ > V 

. .( I ^ ' 


t r 



were provided. In the afternoon the Long Room and 
the gardens were thronged by tea-drinkers, especially 
on Sundays. Stronger beverages were not unknown^ 
and a bowl of good negus was a feature here. The 
lawyer, the man about town, and the active city merchant^ 
no less than the gouty, and the hypochondriac, came 
to while away an hour or two : — 

Ye gouty old souls and rbcumaticks crawl on, 

Here taste these blest springs, and your tortures are gone ; 

Ye wretches asthmatick, who pant for your breath. 

Come drink your relief, and think not of death. 

Obey the glad summons, to Bagnigge repair. 

Drink deep of its streams, and forget all your care. 

The distempered shall drink and forget all his pain. 
When his blood flows more briskly through every vein ; 
The headache shall vanish, the heartache shall cease. 
And your lives be enjoyed in more pleasure and peace. 
Obey then the summons, to Bagnigge repair. 
And drink an oblivion to pain and to care,,^ 

The city matron deemed it the very home of 
fashion : — 

Bon Ton's the space 'twixt Saturday and Monday, 
And riding in a one-horse chair on Sunday : 
'Tis drinking tea on summer afternoons 
At Bagnigge Wells with china and gilt spoons.^ 

With ** genteel females " there mingled others of 
decidedly bad reputation.^ Even a feminine pickpocket * 
was not unknown. The notorious John Rann,^ who, 

1 " Bagnigge Wells," a song in the London MagazJne,JunCy 1759. 

2 Colman*s prologue to Garrick's Bon Ton, 1775. 

* This is made sufficiently clear in the Sunday Ramble (1774, &c.) ; 
in the poem cited in the next note, and in Trusler's London Adviser 


* Bagnigge Wehs, an anonymous poem (1779). 

^ The life of John Rann, otherwise Sixteen Strings Jack, reprinted 
London, 1884; C. Whiblcy in The New Review^ 1896, p. 222 ; 
cp. also the print "The Road to Ruin." 


as Dr. Johnson observed, towered above the common 
mark as a highwayman, was a visitor at Bagnigge 
Wells, and a favourite with some of the ladies there. 
On 27 July, 1774, Rann was brought before Sir John 
Fielding after one of his escapades, but v/as acquitted, 
the magistrate exhorting him in a pathetic manner 
to forsake his evil ways. On the Sunday following 
(31 July), he appeared at Bagnigge Wells with all his 
old assurance, attired in a scarlet coat, tambour waist- 
coat, white silk stockings, and a laced hat. On each knee 
he wore the bunch of eight ribbons, which had gained 
him his sobriquet of Sixteen Strings Jack. On this 
occasion his behaviour gave such offence to the company 
that he was thrown out of one of the windows of the 
Long Room. About four months later, 30 November, 
1774, he was hanged at Tyburn for robbing Dr. Bell, 
chaplain to the Princess Amelia. 

The grounds of Bagnigge Wells were behind the 
Long Room, and were laid out in formal walks, 
with hedges of box and holly. There were a 
number of fine trees, some curiously trimmed, and 
a pretty flower garden. Ponds containing gold 
and silver fish, at that time a novelty, were in the 
gardens ; and the pond in the centre had a fountain 
in the form of a Cupid bestriding a swan from whose 
beak issued streams of water. 

Parallel with the Long Room, and separating the 
eastern part of the grounds from the western (and by 
far the larger) portion, ran the river Fleet, with seats 
on its banks, for such as " chuse to smoke or drink 
cyder, ale, etc., which are not permitted in other parts 
of the garden." Willows, large docks and coarse 
plants, elder bushes and other shrubs in luxurious 
profusion, fringed the banks ; and we hear of Luke 
Clennell, the artist, making studies of the foliage. 

Three rustic bridges spanned the stream, and amid 
the trees were two tall leaden figures-; one a rustic 


with a scythe, the other a Phyllis of the hay-fields, 
rake in hand. 

Arbours for tea-drinking, covered with honeysuckle 
and sweet briar, surrounded the gardens ; and there was 
a rustic cottage and a grotto. The last named, a small 
castellated building of two apartments open to the 
gardens, was brightly decorated in cockney fashion with 
shells, fossils, and fragments of broken glass. A bowl- 
ing-green and skittle-alley were among the attractions 
of the Wells, and a bun-house or bake-house was 
erected (before 1791) on the south side of the house, 
but not immediately contiguous to it. 

Hughes, the original proprietor, appears to have 
remained at the Wells till about 1775 ; and a Mr. John 
Davis was subsequently the lessee till his death in 1793. 
During the last twenty years of the eighteenth century 
the company, for the most part, seems to have con- 
sisted of persons of lower rank than formerly : — 

Cits to Bagnigge Wells repair 
To swallow dust and call it air. 

Prentices and their sweethearts, and city matrons with 
their husbands, frequented the place ; while unfledged 
Templars paraded as fops, and young ensigns sported 
their new cockades. The morning water-drinking was 
not neglected, but the full tide of life at Bagnigge was 
from five to eight p.m. on Sundays, when the gardens 
were crowded with tea-drinkers. A prentice-song sets 
forth the delights of the Wells : — 

Come prithee make it up, Miss, and be as lovers be 

We'll go to Bagnigge Wells, Miss, and there we'll have some 

tea ; 
It's there you'll see the lady-birds perched on the stinging 

The crystal water fountain, and the copper shining kettles. 
It's there you'll see the fishes, more curious they than whales, 


Fronu^iece for tic Sundar Ra j nttV 


And they're made of gold and silver, Miss, and wags their little 

tails ; 
They wags their little tails, they wags their little tails. 

About 1810 the place became more exclusively the 
resort of the lower classes, though the situation 
was still somewhat picturesque. In 18 13 Thomas 
Salter, the lessee, became bankrupt, and Bagnigge Wells 
was put up for sale by auction^ on four days in the 
month of December. Not a bench or shrub was 
omitted : the " excellent fine-toned organ/' the 
water-organ, the chandeliers from the Long Room, 
dinner and tea services of Worcester china ; the tea- 
boxes, two hundred drinking tables, four hundred tea- 
boards, and some four hundred dozen of ale and stout. 
The various rooms and buildings were also offered for 
sale, including '* Nell Gwyn's house,*' the summer- 
house, the bake-house, the grotto, temple, bridges ; the 
two leaden rustics,^ the fountains and all the gold and 
silver fish. Also the pleasure and flower gardens with 
their greenhouses, all the trees, including a ** fine varie- 
gated holly tree," the gooseberry and currant bushes^ 
the hedges, shrubs and flowers. 

In the year following, however, the place was re- 
opened under W. Stock's management, and though 
the gardens^ were now curtailed of all the ground 
west of the Fleet (at this time a ditch-like, and,, 
on warm evenings, malodorous stream), an attempt 
was made to revive their popularity. The pro- 
prietor's eflx)rts were not very successful, and during 

^ Sale Catalogue, 1813. (Copy in Brit. Mus.) 

2 A few years before 1891, these figures were in the possession 
of Dr. Lonsdale of Carlisle ( Wheatley's London P. and P,). 

^ The temple (behind the Long Room) and the grotto to the 
north of it, were, as formerly, in the garden east of the Fleet. The 
western garden, previous to its curtailment, contained the rustic 
cottage nearly opposite the grotto, and the pond with its swan and 
Cupid fountain about the middle of the garden. 


the next few years the premises frequently changed 
hands. In 1 8 1 8 the lessee of Bagnigge Wells was Mr. 
Thorogood, who let it to Mr. Monkhouse (from White 
Conduit House) about 1831. In April 1831 Monk- 
house advertised the Concert Room as being open every 
evening for musical entertainments, which continued to 
be the main feature of Bagnigge Wells until its close. 
In, or before, 1833 Richard Chapman was the pro- 
prietor, and John Hamilton in 1834. 

In 1838 (August 14th), the lessees, Mr. and Miss 
Foster, announced for their benefit night an array of 
concert-room talent : — Le Mceurs of Bagnigge Wells, 
Mr. Darking (of the London concerts). Miss Anderson 
(from the Mogul Concert Room), Messrs. Sutton and 
Gibson (Sadler's Wells), Master Clifford (Yorkshire 
Stingo), Ml*. H. Smith (Royal Union Saloon), Mr. 
Boyan (Queen's Head Rooms), Mr. Roberts (White 
Conduit) ; and the songs included " Tell me, my heart," 
" Billy the Snob " (in character), " Pat was a darling 
boy." A scene was given from Julius Caesar ; a 
soliloquy from Hamlet \ and one Simpson exhibited 
classical delineations of the Grecian statues. The con- 
cert was followed by a ball, in which were danced a 
Highland fling (by a Mr. McDougal), a double comic 
medley dance, a waterman's hornpipe, and a hornpipe in 
real fetters and chains. During the evening a balloon 
was sent up from the grounds ; and sixpence pro- 
cured admission to the whole. On other concert 
nights the admission was as low as threepence. Among 
the singers in the latest days of Bagnigge Wells were the 
well-known Paddy O'Rourke, Alford, Ozealey, Prynn, 
Box, Sloman, Booth, Gibbs and Dickie. Besides the 
songs and duets, portions of plays were acted, though 
without scenery or special dresses. 

The year 1841 witnessed the last entertainment at 
Bagnigge Wells, when on 26 March there was an even- 
ing performance (admission sixpence) of glees, farces 


and comic songs. The dismantling of the place was 
now begun. The grotto, which was already in a very 
dilapidated condition, was destroyed by some passers by 
in the early morning of 6 April, 1841. 

In 1843 *'l ^^^^ remained was the north end of 
the Long Room, and, according to a representative 
of Punchj who visited the spot in September of that 
year, the old well was filled up with rubbish and mosaics 
of oyster shells. Shortly afterwards, the present tavern 
was built ; Mr. Negus, a name suggestive of other 
days, being the tenant in 1850. 

[Pinks's Clerkenwell; Walford's O. W A^. London; Palmer's St. 
Pancras^ p. 77, ff.; Wheatley's London P.^ P.; Kearsley's Strangers* 
Guide ; Noorthouck's London^ p. 752, ff. ; Clinch's Marylebone and 
St. Pancras^ p. 148, ff. ; Malcolm's Lond. Redw. (1803), p. 237 ; 
Sunday Ramble (various editions) ; Rimbault in Notes and Queries^ 
1st ser. ii. 228 ; 4th ser. xi. 24; Era Almanack^ 1871 (account of 
Bagnigge Wells by Blanchard).] 


The following views may be noted : — 

1. "Ancient stone from Bagnigge Wells," engraved in Pinks, 
p. 558. 

2. " The Bread and Butter Manufactory, or the Humors of 
Bagnigge Wells," a mezzotint published by Carrington Bowles, 
1772 ; cp. an aquatint print from a painting by Sanders, published 
by J. R. Smith in 1772. 

3. Mr. Deputy Dumpling and Family enjoying a summer after- 
noon, a print (1780) published by Carrington Bowles. Grace, Cat. 
p. 583, No. 84. 

4. Bagnigge Wells, near Battle Bridge, a print (1777). Grace, 
Cat., p. 583, No. 82 ; engraved in Walford's O. ^ N. London, ii. 
p. 294. 

5. Bagnigge Wells Garden, frontispiece engraved for the Sunday 
Ramble, "drawn on ye spot," Page sculp, {circ. 1774 ?) (W. Goll.); 
engraved in Pinks, p. 563. 

6. "A Bagnigge Wells scene : or, No resisting temptation." An 
engraving published by Garrington Bowles, 1780. Grace, Cat., 
p. 583, No. 85 ; a hand-coloured mezzotint in Brit. Mus. Catal. of 
Prints, vol. iv., No. 4,545. 


7. View of the Tea-gardens and Bun-house, from a drawing, 
taken in 1790 (?) ; copy in sepia in W. Coll.; an almost identical 
view 18 reproduced in Rogers's Views of Pleasure Gardens of London^ 
p. 23, "from a drawing made in 1827." 

8. " The Road to Ruin " (with figure of John Rann). Grace, 
Cat.y p. 583, No. 86. 

9. A view taken from the centre bridge in the gardens of Bag- 
nigge Wells. An example in Crosby Coll.; also reproduced in 
Ash ton's 7 he Fleet, 

10. The original garden entrance to Bagnigge Wells {circ, 1800 ?) 
J. T. Smith del. Etched in Rogers's Views of Pleasure Gardens of 
London^ p. 26. 

11. View of Bagnigge Wells Gardens, 1828, engraving in Crom- 
well's Clerkenwell^ p. 414 ; reproduced in Pinks, p. 567. 

12. A collection of manuscript notes, sketches and drawings, 
relating to Bagnigge Wells in its later days, made by Anthony 
Crosby. (Guildhall Library, London.) 

13. " Residence of Nell Gwynne, Bagnigge Wells." An engrav- 
ing, C. J. Smith, 8C. 1844 ; Crace, C^/., p. 583, No. 88 ; Pinks, 

P- 559- 

F 2 



The Lord Cobham's (or Cobham*s) Head, named 
•after Sir John Oldcastle " the good Lord Cobham," 
was situated in Cold Bath Fields, and on the west side 
of Coppice Row, now Farringdon Road, at the point 
where it was joined by Cobham Row. 

It was first opened in 1728 (about April), and in its 
garden there was then " a fine canal stocked with very 
good carp and tench fit to kill," and anglers were 
invited to board at the house. It was advertised to be 
let or sold in 1729, and little is heard of it till 1742 
when it possessed a large garden with a "handsome 
grove of trees," and gravel walks, and claimed to sell 
the finest, strongest and most pleasant beer in London 
at threepence a tankard. Some vocal and instrumental 
music was at this time provided in the evening, and 
the walks were illuminated. 

In 1 744 a good organ was erected in the chief room 
of the inn and the landlord, Robert Leeming, for one 
of his concerts in 1744, announced Mr. Blogg and 
others to sing selections from the Oratorios of *' Saul " 
and " Samson " ; a concerto on the organ by Master 
Strologer and the Coronation Anthem of Mr. Handel. 
After the concert came a ball, the price of admission 
to the whole entertainment being half-a-crown. For 
July 20th of the same year there was announced " a 
concert of musick by the best Masters," for the benefit 
of a reduced citizen, followed by the display of a 



*' set of fireworks by several gentlemen lovers of that 
curious art — Rockets, line ditto, Katherine wheels, and 
many other things ; likewise will be shewn the manner 
of Prince Charles's distressing the French after he 
passed the Rhine," The concerts do not appear to 
have been given after this period but the Cobham's 
Head long continued to exist as a tavern, and is marked 
in Horwood's Plan of 1799. 

In December 181 1 it was sold by auction, being 
described at that time as a roomy brick building with a 
large yard behind, probably all that was left of the 
gardens. About i860 during the operations for the 
Metropolitan Railway the Cobham's Head was inun- 
dated by the bursting of a New River Main, and was 
so much injured by the undermining for the Railway 
that it had to be vacated. 

[Pinks's ClerkentBell: Wheatley's Landoa P. and P., " Coppice 



The Sir John Oldcastle Tavern was situated in Cold 
Bath Fields on the west side of Coppice Row, and was 
on the same side of the road as the Lord Cobham's 
Head, but rather nearer to Bagnigge Wells. It was 
originally a way-side inn, but during the first half 
of the eighteenth century became a well-known tavern. 
In 1707 (July 1 8th) the Clerkenwell Archers held 
their annual dinner there, and frequented it for some 

In the rear of the house were extensive gardens, well 
planted with trees ; and from 1744 to 1746 these were 
open during the summer for evening entertainments. 
A band " of the best Masters " played from five o'clock 
till nine ; the walks were lit with lamps, and fireworks 
were displayed at the close of the evening. The ad- 
mission was sixpence, including refreshments. In July 
1746 concerts of vocal and instrumental music were 
announced, at which the chief vocalist, Mr. Blogg, 
sang such songs as ** Come, Rosalind," " Observe the 
fragrant blushing Rose " and " The Happy Pair."^ 

In 1753 a Smallpox Hospital was erected on part of 

A For New Year's day 175 1, new fireworks in the Chinese 
manner were announced to take place at the Sir John Oldcastle 
(Pinks, p. 738). This was a special subscription entertainment. 
The regular open-air amusements appear to have come to an end 
in 1746. 



the Oldcastle estate, but the Sir John Oldcastle, im- 
mediately adjacent, was left standing till 1762 when, 
being in a ruinous condition, it was pulled down. 

[Pinks's Chrkenwell; Larwood and Hotten, History of Sign- 
boards^ p. 97 ; Tomlins's Perambulation of Islington^ p. 172 ; Low 
Life (1764), p. 81 ; The Field Spy (London, 17 14); Ashton*s The 
Fleets p. 1 1 7. J 


South view of the Sir John Oldcastle in Lcmpriere's Set of 
Views, 1 73 1. 


The site of St. Chad's Well, a mineral spring and 
garden at Battle Bridge, is now partly occupied by St. 
Chad's Place, a small street turning out of the Gray's 
Inn Road (east side) and lying between the King's Cross 
Station (Metropolitan Railway) and the Home and 
Colonial Schools. 

About the middle of the eighteenth century the Well 
was in considerable repute, at least in the neighbourhood, 
and is said to have been visited in the morning by hun- 
dreds of people who paid threepence for the privilege of 
drinking. A hamper of two dozen bottles could be 
bought for ^i. At that time the gardens attached 
to the Well were very extensive, and abounded with 
fruit trees, shrubs, and flowers. 

During the last ten or twenty years of the eighteenth 
century few visitors frequented the Well ; ^ though we 
hear of it again about 1809, as being much resorted to 
by the lower classes of tradesmen on Sundays. 

In the early part of the nineteenth century it had a 
few visitors of note. Sir Allan Chambre, the judge, 
used to visit the Well, and Munden, the comedian, 

1 The Well at Battle Bridge (/>. St. Chad's) is mentioned with 
four other London Wells in the Macaroni and Theatrical Magazine 
for January 1773, p. 162. A Mr. Salter was part proprietor of 
the Well for many years previous to 1798. His mind became 
deranged and on 17 July, 1798, he was found drowned in a pond 
in the garden of St. Chad's {The Courier for 18 July, 1798). 


when living at Kentish Town, drank the water three 
times a week. Mr. Mensall, the master of the Gordon 
House Academy at Kentish Town, used to march his 
yoiing gentlemen to St. Chad's once a week in order to 
save in doctor's bills. John Abernethy, the surgeon, 
was also a visitor. When Hone visited the place in 
1825, the Spring of St. Chad was once more almost 
deserted. Hone found a faded inscription " St. Chad's 
Well," placed over a pair of wooden gates, one of 
which (to quote his description) "opens on a scene 
which the unaccustomed eye may take for the pleasure- 
ground of Giant Despair. Trees stand as if made not 
to vegetate, clipped hedges seem willing to defcline, and 
nameless weeds straggle weakly upon unlimited borders." 
" On pacing the garden alleys, and peeping at the 
places of retirement, you imagine the whole may have 
been improved and beautified for the last time by some 
countryman of William III." "If you look upwards 
you perceive painted on an octagon board * Health Re- 
stored and Preserved.' Further on, towards the left 
stands a low, old-fashioned, comfortable-looking large- 
windowed dwelling, and ten to one but there also stands 
at the open door an ancient, ailing female in a black 
bonnet, a clean coloured cotton gown, and a check 
apron ; . . . . this is the Lady of the Well." 

In September 1837 ^^^ dwelling-house, spring and 
garden were put up to auction by their proprietor, a 
Mr. Salter. The next proprietor, William Lucas, find- 
ing that the celebrity of the waters had for a number of 
years past been confined chiefly to the neighbourhood, 
issued in 1 840 a pamphlet and hand-bills in which the 
water was described as perfectly clear when fresh drawn, 
with a slightly bitter taste. It was composed of sul- 
phate of soda and magnesia in large quantities, and of 
a little iron held in solution by carbonic acid. The 
waters were recommended as a universal medicine, being 
"actively purgative, mildly tonic and powerfully di- 


uretic." The Pump-room was opened at 5 a.m., and 
the price of admission was threepence, or one guinea 
a year. By this time the old garden had been con- 
siderably curtailed by the formation of St. Chad's 
Place, and by letting out (1830) a portion as a 
timber yard. But it was more carefully kept, and 
a new and larger pump-room had been built in 1832. 
A fore-court adjoined the Gray's Inn Road, and next 
to it were the dwelling-house and pump-room. Beyond 
them was the garden which on the north was joined by 
the backs of the houses in Cumberland Row, and on the 
south by the timber-yard. 

The pump-room was still in existence in 1860,^ but 
was removed about that time during the operations for 
the new Metropolitan Railway. 

[Pinks's Clerkentoell^ pp. 504-506 ; Kcarslcy's Strangers* Guide 
s.v. " Battlebridge " ; Lysons's Environs^ iii. (1795), P. 381 ; Lam- 
bert's London^ iv. 295.; Hughson's London^ vi. p. 366 ; Gent, Mag, 
181 3, pt. 2, p. 557 ; Cromweirs Islington^ p. 156, ff. ; Hone's 
Every Day Book, i. 322, fF. ; E. RofFe's Perambulating Survey of St. 
Pancras^ P» 13 ; Palmer's St. Pancras^ P« 75 ; Clinch's Marylebone^ 
and St. Pancras : Ashton's Tke Fleety p. 49.] 


1. St. Chad's Well, a view from the garden. Water colour 
drawing by T. H. Shepherd, 1850. Crace, Cat. 583, No. 81. 

2. Plan annexed to the auctioneer's particulars and conditions 
of sale of St. Chad's Well, 1837 [see Pinks, p. 506). 

^ Coull's St. Pancras^ p. 22. 


The Bowling Green House, a tavern with a large 
bowling green attached to it on the south, was situated 
at the back of the Foundling Hospital, and south of the 
New Road. A lane turning out of Gray's Inii Lane 
led to it. It is first mentioned in 1676,^ and it after- 
wards gained notoriety as a resort of gamesters. On 
a day in March, 1696, the house was suddenly sur- 
rounded by soldiers and constables, who seized and con- 
veyed before a Justice of the Peace every person found 
on the premises. Some of the offenders had to pay a 
fine of forty shillings apiece.^ 

In the course of years, the character of the place 
changed, and in 1756 the proprietor, Joseph Barras,^ 
announced that he had greatly altered and fitted up the 
Bowling Green House * in a " genteel manner." The 

^ In the minutes of a Vestry Meeting in St. Giles's parish, held 
in 1676, it is recorded that a meeting is appointed with the 
parishioners in St. Andrew's, Holborn, about the Bowling Green 
in Gray's Inn Fields and the houses near thereabouts built (F. 
Miller's St. Pancras^ p. 77). 

* Malcolm's Manners and Customs of London (181 1), p. 209. 

^ Barras's advertisement is quoted in Palmer's St, Pancras^ 

p. 310- 

^ It was generally known as the Bowling Green House, but the 
sign of the inn appears to have been the Three Tuns, for in a plan 
of the new road from Paddington to Islington (London Mag, 1756)^ 
the place is marked as the Three Tuns Ale House and the Three 
Tuns Bowling Green. 


Bowling Green was declared to be in exceeding fine 
order, and coffee, tea, and hot loaves were to be had 
every day. J. P. Malcolm ^ says that the Bowling 
Green House was for many years a quiet country re- 
treat, but shortly before 1811 it was removed, and 
Judd Street, Tonbridge Street, &c., began to cover 
the space south of New Road. Hastings Street and 
part of Tonbridge Street appear to be on the site. 

[Authorities cited in the notes.] 

1 Malcolm in Gent, Mag, 181 3, pt. 2, pp. 427-429. The 
Bowling Green House is marked in Horwood's Plan C, 1799 ; in 
a map of 1806 in Lambert's London^ vol. iv., and in Wallis*s plan 
of 1808. 


The premises of the Adam and Eve stood at the 
north-west extremity of Tottenham Court Road, at the 
lower end of the road leading to Hampstead, and occu- 
pied the site of the manor-house of the ancient manor 
of Tottenhall or Tottenham. 

The Adam and Eve Tavern is known to have been 
in existence under that sign in 1718.^ Already in the 
seventeenth century Tottenham Court is mentioned as a 
place of popular resort, one of " the City out-leaps " 
(Broome, New Academy^ 1658). George Wither 
(^Britain's Remembrancer^ 1628) speaks of the London 
holiday-makers who frequented it : — 

" And Hogsdone, Islington and Tottenham Court, 
For cakes and cream had then no small resort." 

In 1645 ^^^- Stacye's maid and two others (as 
the Parish books of St. Giles in the Fields record) were 
fined one shilling apiece for the enormity of " drinking 
at Tottenhall Court on the Sabbath daie." ^ In 

^ Walford, v. 304, cites a newspaper advertisement of September 
1 7 18, announcing that *' there is a strange and wonderful fruit 
growing at the Adam and Eve at Tottenham Court, called a 
Calabath, which is five feet and a half round, where any person 
may see the same gratis." 

* Cunningham's Handbook of London (1850), "Tottenham Court 
Road " ; see also Pax ton's History of Sf, Giles* Hospital and Parish 
(cited in F. Miller's St, Pancras^ p. 161), where similar fines for 
drinking at Tottenham Court are recorded for the year 1644. 


Wycherley's Gentleman Dancing-master {i6j ^) a ramble 
to Totnam Court is mentioned together with such 
fashionable diversions as a visit to the Park, the 
Mulberry Garden, and the New Spring Garden 
{i.e. Vauxhall). 

In the succeeding century Tottenham Court Fair and 
the " Gooseberry Fair " doubtless brought many a 
customer to the Adam and Eve, and in the spring-time, 
as Gay expresses it, "Tottenham fields with roving 
beauty swarm." The Adam and Eve then possessed a 
long room, with an organ, and in its spacious gardens 
in the rear and at the side of the house were fruit-trees 
and arbours for tea-drinking parties. There were 
grounds for skittles and Dutch-pins, and in the fore- 
court which was shadowed by large trees, tables and 
benches were placed for the visitors. At one time it 
could boast the possession of a monkey, a heron, some 
wild fowl, some parrots, and a small pond for gold fish. 

Vincent Lunanii, the first man in England to make 
a balloon ascent,^ made an unexpected appearance at the 
Adam and Eve Gardens on 13 May, 1785. He had 
ascended from the Artillery Ground about one o'clock, 
but the balloon, being overcharged with vapour, 
descended in about twenty minutes in the Adam and 
Eve Gardens. " He was immediately surrounded by 
great numbers of the populace, and though he proposed 
re-ascending, they were not to be dissuaded from bearing 
him in triumph on their shoulders." ^ 

Towards the end of the eighteenth century^ the 
Adam and Eve began to be hemmed in by buildings ; 
by Brook Street (now Stanhope Street) on the west, and 

^ His first ascent was on 15 September, 1784. This was the 
first ascent in England, but it may be noted that Mr. J. Tytler had 
made an ascent from Edinburgh on 27 August, 1784. 

* The Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser^ Saturday, 14 May, 

^ See Horwood*s Plan^ '793' 

Jii'iaiii.r orAf/m fo/fffin 



by Charles Street (now Drummond Street, western end) 
on the north. The gardens however appear to have 
retained their old dimensions,^ and at that time ex- 
tended as far north as Charles Street. ^ 

The thousands of honest holiday-makers who visited 
the gardens had, however, towards the end of the 
eighteenth century, been replaced by a motley crew of 
highwaymen, footpads and low women,^ and in the 
early years of the present century (before 1 8 1 1 ) the 
magistrates interfered : " the organ was banished, the 
skittle grounds destroyed, and the gardens dug up for 
the foundation of Eden Street." 

About 1 8 1 3 the Adam and Eve Tavern and CofFee 
House, once more respectably conducted, was a one- 
storied building. Part of it fronted the New (Euston) 
Road, while an archway in the Hampstead Road led to 
the other parts of the premises. A detached gabled 
building, originally part of the domestic offices of the 
old Tottenhall Manor House, was still standing at 
this time and was used as a drinking parlour in connec- 
tion with the Adam and Eve. Six small houses and 
shops also adjoined the tavern and brought the pro- 
prietor about ^25 each a year in rent, though they are 
said to have been partly constructed out of the boxes in 
the old tea-gardens. 

The large public-house called the Adam and Eve, 
which now stands on the old site at the corner of the 
Euston and Hampstead Roads, was built in 1869. 

Near the Adam and Eve was the Cold Bath in the 

1 See Wallis's Plan, 1808. 

2 Thus the grounds must at that time have covered the space 
now occupied by Eden Street and Seaton (formerly Henry) Street. 

* There may be some exaggeration in this description (based on 
Wilkinson), for in the Picture of London, 1802, p. 370, the Adam 
and Eve is enumerated among the tea-gardens frequented by the 
middle classes, and is described as somewhat similar to the Jew's 
Harp, with a small organ in the room upstairs where tea, wine and 
punch are served. 


New Road. It was in existence in 1785, when it 
was advertised ^ as in fine order for the reception of 
ladies and gentlemen. The bath was situated in the 
midst of a pleasant garden, and was constantly supplied 
by a spring running through it. The water was 
described as serviceable to persons suffering from 
nervous disorders and dejected spirits. 

[Wilkinson's Londina illust,^ i. " Tottenhall," Nos. 92, 93; 
Hone's Year Book^ p. 47, cp. p. 317 ; Walford, iv. 477 ; v. 303 ff.; 
Palmer's St, Pancras^ p. 204, ff.; Larwood and Hotten, Signboards^ 
257, 258 ; Brayley's Londiniana^ ii. p. 165 ; Cunningham's London 
(1850), "Tottenham Court Road"; F. Miller's St, Pancras^ 
p. 161 ; Wheatley's London^ " Tottenham Court Road " and "Adam 
and Eve."] 


1. The scene of Hogarth's March to Finchley (see Nichols's 
Hogarth^ i. 155, ff.) is laid at the Tottenham Court Turnpike, at 
the south end of the Hampstead Road. On the right is the King's 
Head tavern, and on the left the Adam and Eve. The sign of 
Adam and Eve appears on a post in the road, and Hogarth has 
inscribed it " Tottenham Court Nursery," in allusion to Broughton's 
amphitheatre for boxing that existed here (see Walford, v. 304). 

2. Two views in Wilkinson's Londina^ i. "Remains of the 
Manor House denominated the lordship of Toten-hall, now vul- 
garly called Tottenham Court, and occupied by the Adam and 
Eve Tea House and Gardens." Shepherd del.. Wise sculp, (pub- 
lished 1 81 3). Beneath this is a plan of the vicinity marking Eden 
Street, ii. Part of the Adam and Eve coffee rooms, Hampstead 
Road, J. Carter del., Wise sculp, (published 181 1). 

3. A woodcut in Hone's Year Book^ p. 47, of the Adam and Eve 
(before 1825), substantially the same as Wilkinson's second view* 
The views in Wilkinson and Hone show the Adam and Eve in its 
altered condition after the proprietor Greatorex (end of eighteenth 
century ?) had made an addition to the tavern, fronting the New 

1 Walford, v. 305. 


The Peerless Pool should, in strictness, be described 
in a history of sports and pastimes, but as a pleasant 
summer resort, an oasis in the regions of Old Street and 
the City Road, it must be allowed a place in the present 

In ground immediately behind St. Luke's Hospital 
(built 1782-84), Old Street, was one of the ancient 
London springs which had formed, by its overflowings, 
a dangerous pond, referred to,^ as early as 1598, as the 
" clear water called Perillous Pond, because divers 
youths by swimming therein have been drowned." 

In the seventeenth century it was apparently resorted 
to for the favourite amusement of duck-hunting : 
** Push, let your boy lead his water spaniel along, and 
we'll show you the bravest sport at Parlous Pond" 
(Middleton's Roaring Girly i6ti). 

In 1743, William Kemp, a London jeweller, who had 
derived benefit from his plunges in its water, took 
the Parlous Pond in hand. He embanked it, raised the 
bottom, changed its name to Peerless Pool, and opened 
it to subscribers as a pleasure bath. In the adjacent 
ground, of which he held the lease, he introduced 
other attractions : in particular he constructed a fish- 
pond, 320 feet long, 90 feet broad, and 11 feet deep, 
and stocked it with carp, tench, and other fish. The 

1 Stow's Survey^ p. 7 (ed. Thorns). 


high banks of this were thickly covered with shrubs, 
and on the top were walks shaded by lime trees. To 
the east of the fish-pond was a Cold Bath (distinct 
from the Pool) 36 feet long and 18 feet broad,^ supplied 
by a spring. The Peerless Pool itself as contrived by 
Kemp was an open-air swimming-bath, 170 feet long> 
more than 100 feet broad, and from 3 to 5 feet deep. 
It was nearly surrounded by trees, and the descent was 
by marble steps to a fine gravel bottom, through which 
the springs that supplied the pool came bubbling up. 
The entrance was from a bowling-green on the south 
side, through a marble saloon (30 feet long) which con- 
tained a small collection of light literature for the 
benefit of subscribers to the Pool. Adjoining this 
were the dressing boxes. 

The place became, from about the middle of the 
eighteenth century, a favourite resort of London 
anglers and swimmers, and many London merchants 
and persons of good position were among the sub- 
scribers. An annual payment of one guinea entitled 
subscribers to the use of the baths, and to the diversion 
of " angling and skating at proper seasons." Occasional 
visitors paid two shillings each time of bathing. 

About 1805 Mr. Joseph Watts (father of Thomas 
Watts, the well-known Keeper of Printed Books at the 
British Museum) obtained a lease of the place from 
St. Bartholomew's Hospital at a rental of j^6oo per 
annum, and eventually saw his way to a profit by build- 
ing on part of the ground. He drained the fish-pond 
which lay due east and west, and built the present 
Baldwin Street on the site. The old-fashioned house 
inhabited by Kemp, which stood in a garden and orchard 
of apple and pear trees overlooking the west end of the 
fish-pond. Watts pulled down, erecting Bath Buildings 

^ At a depth of four feet was a bottom of " letticc " work under 
which the water was hvc feet deep. 




o M( aiy, Ouiriuu pw' W« !«)« "■mjr 
Ct;v. 1846. 


on the spot.^ The pleasure bath and the cold bath he, 
however, continued to open to the public at a charge of 
one shilling, and Hone gives a pleasant description of 
it as it was (still in Watts's proprietorship) in 1826. 
" Its size," he says, " is the same as in Kemp's time, 
and trees enough remain to shade the visitor from the 
heat of the sun while on the brink." " On a summer 
evening it is amusing to survey the conduct of the 
bathers ; some boldly dive, others * timorous stand,' 
and then descend, step by step, * unwilling and slow ' ; 
choice swimmers attract attention by divings and 
somersets, and the whole sheet of water sometimes 
rings with merriment. Every fine Thursday and 
Saturday afternoon in the summer, columns of blue-coat 
boys, more than three score in each, headed by their 
respective beadles, arrive, and some half strip them- 
selves ere they reach their destination ; the rapid 
plunges they make into the Pool, and their hilarity in 
the bath, testify their enjoyment of the tepid 

The Pool was still frequented in 1850,^ but at a 
later time was built over. Its name is kept locally in 
remembrance by Peerless Street, the second main turn- 
ing on the left of the City Road, just beyond Old 
Street, in coming from the City. This street was 

1 Watts's building operations do not appear to have been com- 
pleted till about 1811 or later (cp. Hughson's London^ iv. (181 1), 
p. 414). 

2 Peerless Pool is mentioned in The Picture of London^ 1829 
(p. 370), as one of the principal public baths of London. Cunning- 
ham, Handbook of London^ 1850, speaks of it as a then existing 
public bath. Mr. Hyde Clark writing in Notes and Queries 
(7th Series, viii. 214, 215) for 14 September, 1889, says that "it 
continued to be used as a bath until comparatively late years." I am 
informed that after the death of Joseph Watts, the Bath was carried 
on by his widow, Mrs. Watts, and by the sons, Thomas Watts of 
the British Museum and his brother. It seems to have been built 
over at some time between 1850 and i860. 


formerly called Peerless Row, and formed the northern 
boundary of the ground laid out by Kemp.^ 

[Maitland's Hist, of London^ i. p. 84, ff.; Dodslcy's London^ "Peer- 
less Pool " ; Noorthouck's London^ p. 756, ff. ; Trusler's London 
Adviser (1786), p. 124 ; Hone's Every Day Book^ i. p. 970, ff. ; 
Pennant's London^ p. 268 ; Wheatley's London P, and P, iii. s.v. ; 
newspaper cuttings, &c., W. Coll.] 


1. Two woodcuts (pleasure bath and fish-pond) from drawings, 
circ, 1826, by John Cleghorn in Hone's Every Day Book (cited 

2. View of Peerless Pool Bath and Gardens in 1848 ; coloured 
drawing by Read. Grace, Cat, p. 608, No. 9. 

3. The Pleasure Bath, Peerless Pool. An advertisement bill 
with woodcut of the bath, surrounded by trees and shrubberies, and 
a plan of the vicinity (1846 ?), W. Coll.; cp. Crace, Cat. p. 608, 
No. 8. 

_ ._ - _ - - — 

^ The grounds originally extended on the north-east to a tavera 
called The Fountain, which was frequented by tea-parties : — 

And there they sit so pleasant and cool, 
And see in and out the folks walk about. 
And gentlemen angling in Peerless Pool. 

(Lines in Hone, loc, cit.). There is now a public house called 
The Old Fountain at the east end of Baldwin Street. The Shep- 
herd and Shepherdess {q.v.) was close by on the other side of the 
City Road. 



The Shepherd and Shepherdess ale-house stood on or 
near the site afterwards occupied by the well-known 
Eagle Tavern in the City Road and Shepherdess Walk. 

It was built at some time before 1745, and its 
gardens were frequented in the last century by visitors, 
who regaled themselves with cream, cakes and furmity. 
Invalids sometimes stayed at the Shepherd and Shep- 
herdess^ to benefit by the pure air of the neighbourhood. 
The City Road (opened in 1761) was cut through the 
meadow-grounds that surrounded the inn. The place 
gradually lost its rural isolation, but it is found enu- 
merated among the tea-gardens resorted to by Lon- 
doners of the " middling classes " in the first quarter ot 
the nineteenth century. 

The Shepherd and Shepherdess appears to have been 
pulled down about 1825, at which time Thomas Rouse 
built on or near its site the Eagle Tavern (rebuilt 1838) 
which formed the nucleus of the famous Eagle establish- 
ment with its Grecian saloon and theatre, its gardens 
and dancing pavilion. The tavern, grounds and theatre 
were purchased by " General " Booth in 1882, and have 
since been occupied by the Salvation Army.^ 

^ Cp. Lewis's Islington^ ?• 3i> note 6, referring to August 1758. 

2 For the connexion of the Salvation Army with the Eagle, and 
for some details as to the history of the Eagle tavern and gardens 
see The Times for 1882 (Palmer's Index^ under "Salvation Army," 


[Larwood and Hotten, Sifrnboards^ 352, 353 ; Picture of London^ 
1802 and 1823 ; Walford, ii. 227, 274.] 

June to September). On the Eagle see also Dickens, Sketches by 
Boz (Miss Evans and the Eagle) ; Hollingshead's My Lifetime^ i. 
p. 25, ff.; Ritchie's Night-side of London (1858) ; Stuart and Park, 
The Variety Stage, p. 35, fF. &c. ; Era Almanack^ 1869, p. 80; 
H. Barton Baker's The London Stage, ii. p. 254, fF. ; and a view of 
the garden in Rogers's Views 0^ Pleasure Gardens of London, p. 57. 




This Spring Garden was situated a little distance to I 

the north of the Mile End Road and its eastern side * 

abutted on what is now Globe Road. 

It was in existence at least as early as 1702, and at j 

that period seems to have been sometimes known as the 
Jews' Spring Garden,^ probably because it was owned or 
frequented by some of the wealthy Jews who at that 
time and long afterwards resided in Goodman's Fields ■ 

and the neighbourhood. There was a tavern attached to J 

the gardens, the keeper of which, in 1743, was a Mr. 
Dove Rayner,? described as a man of " agreeable mirth 
and good humour." 

The garden continued to exist till 1764 when we 
hear of it as a Sunday evening resort of holiday-makers,^ 
but it does not appear to be mentioned at a later date. 

In Horwood's Plan (G) of 1799 the garden (or its 
site), together with a few buildings, is marked as Spring 
Garden Court. Later on, in the present century, the 

1 The Post Man^ Oct. 3 to 6, 1 702, has the advertisement ** At 
Milend the garden and house called ih Jews Spring Garden is to 
be let. Enquire at Capt. Bendal's at Milend " {Notes and Queries^ 
1st ser. ii. 463). Mr. Alexander Andrews (ib. 2nd scr. viii. 422) 
has shown that this Jews' Spring Garden is in all probability to 
be identified with the Spring Garden marked in a map of Stepney 
parish of 1702. 

* Rayner, Master of the Spring Garden at Stepney, died April 3, 
1743, aged 70 {London Daily Post for 6 April, 1743). 

3 Low Life (1764), "Stepney Spring Gardens." 


ground was known as Spring Grove. Nicholas Street 
and Willow Street, between Globe Road and St. Peter's 
Road on the west, now appear to occupy part of the site. 

About the middle of the last century Stepney is 
described as ^ a village consisting principally of houses 
of entertainment to which vast crowds of people of both 
sexes resorted on Sundays and at Easter and Whitsun- 
tide, to eat Stepney buns and drink ale and cyder. 

One of these inns was known as The Treat ; and 
there is a print ^ of it, dated 1760, inscribed with the 
couplet : — 

At Stepney now with cakes and ale, 
Our tars their mistresses regale. 

^ Dodsley's Loniion {i'/6i\ s.v. "Stepney." There are modern 
streets known as Garden Street and Spring Garden Place, but 
these are some distance soutS of the Mile End Road, not far from 
St. Dunstan's, Stepney. 

* See Grace, Cat. p. 616, No. 80. 




§ I. Origin of Marylebone Gardens. 

The principal entrance^ to these well-known gardens 
was through The Rose (or Rose of Normandy), a 
tavern situated on the east side of the High Street, 
Marylebone, opposite (old) Marylebone Church. The 
gardens extended as far east as the present Harley 
Street.; and Beaumont Street, part of Devonshire Street, 
part of Devonshire Place, and Upper Wimpole Street 
now occupy their site. When enlarged (in 1753) to 
their fullest extent they comprised about eight acres, 
and were bounded on the south by Weymouth Street, 
formerly called Bowling Green Lane or Bowling Street. 

As a place of amusement of the Vauxhall type, the 
gardens date, practically, from 1738, but the Maryle- 
bone garden and bowling-green came into existence at a 
much earlier period. 

The gardens were originally those belonging to the 
old Marylebone Manor House,^ and were detached from 
it in 1650. There were several bowling-greens in the 
immediate vicinity, the principal of which was a green 
appurtenant to the Rose, and situated in the gardens 

^ "The back entrance was from the fields, beyond which, north, was 
a narrow winding passage, with garden palings on each side, leading 
into High Street " (Smith's Book for a Rainy Day^ p. 39). 

2 Pulled down in 1791. Devonshire Mews was built on the 


behind this tavern. In 1659 the gardens of the 
Rose, the nucleus of the later Marylebone Gardens, 
consisted of gravel walks, a circular walk, and 
the bowling-green which formed the central square. 
The walks at that time were " double-set with quick- 
set hedges, full grown and indented like town- 
walls." On the outside of the whole was a brick wall, 
with fruit trees. 

Pepys records a visit in 1668 (7 May) : — "Then we 
abroad to Marrowbone, and there walked in the garden : 
the first time I ever was there, and a pretty place it is." 

In 1 69 1 the place was known as Long's Bowling 
Green at the Rose, and for several years (circ. 1679- 
1736) persons of quality might be seen bowling there 
during the summer time : — 


At the Groom Porter's batter'd bullies play ; 
Some Dukes at Marybone bowl time away.^ 

Less innocent amusement was afforded by the tavern, 
which, at the end of the seventeenth and in the 
early part of the eighteenth century, was notorious as a 
gaming-house. Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham (^. 
17 1 2) was wont at the end of the season to give a 
dinner at the Rose to its chief frequenters, proposing as 
the toast, " May as many of us as remain unhanged 
next spring meet here again." ** There will be deep 
play to-night (says Macheath in the Beggar's Operd)y 
and consequently money may be pick'd up on the road. 
Meet me there, and Y\\ give you the hint who is worth 

Some special attractions were occasionally offered to 
the quality who frequented the Bowling Green ; thus, 
in 17 1 8 there were illuminations there, and a consort of 
musick to celebrate the King's birthday. In 1736 we 

^ These lines, often erroneously attributed to Lady Mary 
Wortlcy Montagu, occur in Pope's The Basset-table^ an EcUgue, 
The allusion in the second line is to Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, 


hear of scaffolding, 135 feet high, that was erected 
in the gardens for the Flying Man who was to fly 
down it by a rope with a wheelbarrow before him. 

§ 2. Marylebone Gardens under Gough and truster. 


Daniel Gough, who was proprietor of the Rose and 
its gardens in 1737, first made a regular charge for 
admission,^ and in the summer of 1738 (July 12) 
advertised and opened " Marybone ^ Gardens " as a 
place of evening entertainment. He selected a band 
from the Opera and the Theatres to play, from six to 
ten, eighteen of the best concertos, overtures and airs ; 
erected a substantial garden-orchestra, in which was 
placed (1740) an organ by Bridge; and built (1739- 
1740) the House or Great Room for balls and suppers. 
Gough was succeeded as manager (in 1751 .^) by John 
Trusler,^ who being by profession a cook paid attention 
to the commissariat of the Gardens. The rich seed and 
plum cakes, and the almond cheese-cakes made by his 
daughter. Miss Trusler, became a specialite of the place. 

^ Gough issued, 1738-9, silver tickets at I2j. each, admitting 
two persons for the season. In 1740 the silver season-ticket, 
admitting two, cost £,1 is. There arc extant silver (or rather 
base silver) season tickets of 1766 (Wilkinson, Londina^ vol. ii., last 
plate. No. 19) and of 1767 (Brit. Mus.). These later tickets, 
admitting two, cost £^\ i u. 6//., or two guineas. There are copper 
tickets of 1770 (specimen in Brit. Mus.). In 1774 the ticket for 
two cost two guineas. 

2 The use of the old spelling which occurs in all the advertise- 
ments and contemporary notices must be conceded. 

^ J. T. Smith and several modern writers state that Trusler was 
proprietor in 1 751. It would appear, however, from the news- 
papers that in 1754 John Sherratt was proprietor, and in May 1755 
Mr. Beard was stated to have " lately taken the Gardens." Trusler 
was undoubtedly manager from 1756-1763. He died before 
October 1766. 


Sir John Fielding, the magistrate, was of opinion that 
Londoners should not want Mrs. Cornel ys's entertain- 
ments in Soho, when they had Ranelagh with its music 
and fireworks and Marybone Gardens with their 
music, wine and plum-cakes. 

During this period (173 8- 1763) Marybone Gardens 
were opened in the morning for public breakfasting 
in the Great Room, and for a concert, beginning at 
twelve, to which the admission was two shillings, or 
one shilling. The admission for the evening entertain- 
ment was the same, but was raised on exceptional 
nights to three shillings. 

In August 1738, there were introduced "two Grand 
or Double Bassoons, made by Mr. Stanesby, junior, 
the greatness of whose sound surpass that of any other 
bass instrument whatsoever." In 1 741 a grand martial 
composition was performed by Mr. Lampe in honour 
of Admiral Vernon. In 1744 Knerler, the violinist, 
was the principal executant ; and Mr. Ferrand per- 
formed on " the Pariton, an instrument never played on 
in publick before." 

In 1747 Miss Falkner made her appearance and 
remained the principal female singer^ till about 1752. 

Mary Ann Falkner (or Faulkner),^ was the niece of 
George Faulkner, the Dublin printer, and was a 
vocalist of celebrity in her day, though she never 
aspired beyond such songs as "Amoret and Phillis," 
" The Happy Couple," " Fair Bellinda," " Delia," and 
"The Faithful Lover." She had many admirers, 
among whom were the Earl of Halifax (the second 
Earl), Lord Vane, and Sir George Saville ; but she 
behaved circumspectly, and bestowed her hand upon 

^ Cp. Vocal Melody^ Book iii. A favourite collection of songs and 
dialogues sung by Master Arne and Miss Faulkner at Marybone 
Gardens^ set by Mr, Arne, Published 15 August, 175 1, by J. 
Walsh, Catherine Street, Strand. 

2 The name is variously spelt ; usually Falkner. 



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a young man named Donaldson, the son of a linen- 
draper. Unfortunately, her husband, who had been 
brought up in what Dr. Trusler calls "the line of 
a gentleman,*' was extravagant and idle, and consented 
(about 1753) to a base arrangement by which his 
wife was taken under the protection of Lord Halifax. 

The Earl built a house for Mrs. Donaldson at 
Hampton Court Green, where she seems to have lived 
quietly. At a later time when Halifax was contem- 
plating marriage with the wealthy daughter of General 
Drury, she surprised him one evening in the walks 
at Vauxhall Gardens, and so exerted her influence that 
the Earl not only left his Vauxhall friends without 
an apology, but broke ofl?* his engagement with Miss 
Drury. ^ 

Other vocalists of this period were Thomas Lowe 
(from 1750) ; Mr. Baker (1750) ; Master Michael 
Arne (1751) ; Madame Ramelio (1752-1753) ; Mrs. 
Chambers (1753) ; Champness (1757) ; Kear (1757) ; 
Thomas Glanville (1757) ; and Reinhold (from 1757). 
Defesch, the well-known musician,, was engaged as first 
violin in 1748. 

In 1758 "La Serva Padrona, or the Servant Mis- 
tress," 2 the first Burletta ever given in the gardens, 
was performed and was often afterwards repeated. It 
was an adaptation of Pergolesi's composition by the 
elder Storace, and by Dr. Trusler, the proprietor's son. 
The younger Trusler subsequently became a clergyman 
and finally a bookseller. He distinguished himself by 
selling to his clerical brethren original sermons printed 
in script characters, and made in this way, as he told 
his Bishop, an income of ^^ 1 50 a year. 

During this period of the Gardens' history the 

^ See Trusler's Memoirs^ p. 63, ff.; cp. Diet, Nat. Biog,^ art. 
"Dunk, George Montagu, second Earl of Halifax," 1716-1771. 

2 The Servant Mistress^ a burletta translated from the Italian. 
Price 6^., printed at Marybone Gardens. 



evening entertainments were usually confined to concerts, 
though balls were given from time to time in the Great 
Room. Fireworks were not often displayed, but on 
26 September, 1751, after a * masquerade, they were 
introduced with a kind of apology : — " the playing- 
ofF the fireworks (which will begin at eleven o'clock) 
will not incommode the ladies." "A large collection '* 
of fireworks was announced for display on the June 
evenings of 1753. 

A view of Marybone Gardens in 1755 shows smartly- 
dressed people promenading in the Grand Walk, with 
the Orchestra and the Great Room on either hand. 
At this period families of good position had country 
houses in the High Street, Marylebone, and they 
probably availed themselves of the subscription tickets 
for the balls and concerts in the Gardens. Old Dr. 
John Fountayne, for instance, would stroll in from 
the Manor House School with his friend Mr. Handel. 
On one occasion the great composer begged for Foun- 
tayne's opinion on a new composition that the band 
was performing. They sat down together, and after a 
time the clergyman proposed that they should move. 
" It is not worth listening to — it's very poor stuff.'* 
*' You are right, Mr. Fountayne," said Handel, " it is 
very poor stuff. I thought so myself when I had 
finished it." ^ 

The Gardens appear to have been generally con- 
ducted in a respectable way, though the Duke of Cum- 
berland, if Dr. Trusler ^ has not maligned him, used 
to behave in a scandalous manner when he visited 
the place. Probably, gentlemen did not always accede 
to the proprietor's humble request that they should not 
" smoak on the walks " ; and a scene occasionally 
occurred. One Saturday night in August 1751, 
an angry gentleman drew upon another who was un- 

1 Hone's T'e/:r Book, pp. 5CO-503. 

2 Trusler's Memoirs, p. 57. 


armed, but had his sword struck out of his hand by a 
*' nobleman " standing by, so that the disputants were 
reduced (we are told) to the use of cane and fist. 
But on the whole, Marybone Gardens was a decent 
and social place of amusement, and little parties 
were to be seen chatting and laughing in its latticed 
alcoves. In May 1753 when the Gardens had been 
extended and improved, the place could boast (accord- 
ing to a contemporary account) of the largest and 
politest assembly ever seen there. 

A guard of soldiers and peace-officers conducted the 
company (circ. 1741) to and from the Gardens, and at 
eleven and twelve o'clock a special guard set off to take 
people along the fields as far as the Foundling Hospital. 
(circ. 1743). The neighbourhood of the Gardens was, 
in fact, by no means safe. On a June night of 175 1 
when the entertainment was in full swing, some thieves 
entered the house of Mr. William Coombs, a wine 
merchant residing at the Gardens, and carried off his 
plate and china. About three weeks later a gentleman 
who was in the fields at the back of the Gardens, 
listening to the strains of the band, had a pistol pointed 
at him by a man who demanded his money and his 
watch. On June 30, 1752, a servant going to 
the Gardens was attacked in the fields and robbed 
by two footpads.^ At a later date (1764) the pro- 
prietor felt it necessary to offer " a premium of ten 
guineas " for the apprehension of any highwayman 
or footpad found on * the road to the Gardens, and 
a horse-patrol to and from the City was provided 
at that time. It is said that Dick Turpin once 
publicly kissed in the Gardens a beauty of the time 
related to Dr. Fountayne. The lady expostulated, but 
Turpin exclaimed " Be not alarmed. Madam, you can 

1 Two men were executed 15 June, 1763, at Tyburn for rob- 
bing, in Marybone Fields, the waiters belonging to Marybone 

•• •• • • 

• • • • • • 


now boast that you have been kissed by Dick Turpin^ 
Good morning ! *' 

§3. The Gardens under Thomas Lowe. 1763-1768. 

In 1763 the Gardens and adjoining premises were 
taken at a yearly rent of ^^170 ^ by Thomas 
(" Tommy ") Lowe, the favourite tenor of Vauxhall 
Gardens, who had already appeared at Marybone Gar- 
dens in 1750. He engaged, among other singers, 
Mrs. Vincent, Mrs. Lampe, and the beautiful Nan 
Catley, then only eighteen. Lowe opened in May 
(1763) with a "Musical address to the Town," in 
which the singers (Lowe, Miss Catley and Miss Smith) 
apologised for the absence of some of the attractions of 
Ranelagh and Vauxhall : — 

Yet Nature some blessings has scattered around; 
And means to improve may hereafter be found. 

The entertainments under Lowe's management con- 
sisted principally of concerts in which he himself took 
a prominent part.^ The Gardens were opened at 
5 p.m. : the concert began at 6.30, and the admission 
was one shilling. In 1765 the concerts included songs 
from Dr. Boyce's " Solomon," and Mrs. Vincent sang 

1 Indenture between Robert Long and Thomas Lowe, dated 
30 August, 1763. The lease was for fourteen years. Trusler 
ceased to reside at the Gardens in 1764 when he went to Boyle 
Street, Saville Row, and Miss Trusler carried on business as a 

2 The vocalists 1 763-1 767, besides Lowe, were — 1763, Mrs. 
Vincent, Mrs. Lampe, Miss Catley, Miss Hyat, Miss *Smith, Miss 
Plenius (1763?), and Mr. Squibb (Sig. Storacc and Miss Catley 
had benefits); 1764, Mrs. Vincent, Mrs. Lampe, Miss Moyse, 
Miss Hyat, Mr. Squibb ; 1765, Mrs. Vincent, Mrs. Collett, Miss 
Davis, Mrs. Taylor, Mr. Legg ; 1766, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Raworth, 
Mrs. Vincent, Miss Davis ; 1767, Mrs. Gibbons. 


" Let the merry bells go round " by Handel, accom- 
panied by a new instrument called the Tintinnabula. 
There was a new Ode (August 31), called "The 
Soldier," *' wrote and set to music by a person of 
distinction." In 1767 (August 28), Catches and 
Glees were performed. 


A wet season, combined, as would appear, with in- 
sufficient enterprise, involved the manager in difficulties, 
and by a Deed of 15 January, 1768, he assigned to 
his creditors all the receipts and profits arising from 
the Gardens. He retired in 1769, and was glad to 
accept an engagement at Finch's Grotto, though at 


one period he had been making, it is said, ^1,000 
a year. He died 2 March, 1783. Dibdin says that 
Lowe's voice was more mellow and even than that 
of Beard, but that "Lowe lost himself beyond the 
namby-pamby of Vauxhall " ; while " Beard was at 
home everywhere." 

§4. Later History of the Gardens. 1768-1778. 

During 1768,^ the Gardens were carried on by Lowe's 
creditors. The receipts for the season from season- 
tickets (^ I lis. 6d. each) and money at the doors and 
bars, were ^2,085 ^^' Vg^o but the result was a 
deficit of ^263 los. 3^., though the salaries do not 
appear to have been excessive. Miss Davis for six 
nights got three guineas ; Mr. Phillips three guineas ; 
Master Brown four guineas ; Werner, harpist for six 
nights, two guineas. The Band cost ^27 13J. a week. 

Dr. Samuel Arnold, the musician, became proprietor 
of the Gardens in 1769 ; and though he eventually 
retired (in 1773 ?) a loser, the Gardens probably offered 
more attractions under his management than at any 
other period. The weather being wet and cold, the 
opening of the season of 1769 was postponed till after 
the middle of May. The proprietor sedulously adver- 
tised the " very effectual drains " that had been made in 
the Gardens, ** so that they become very dry and plea- 
sant in a short time after heavy rains." A few light 
showers, moreover, would not hinder the performances, 
and when dancing took place there was a covered plat- 
form in the Garden. 

The seasons of 1769 ^ and 1770 were sufficiently gay. 

^ The vocalists in 1768 were Reynoldson, Taylor, Phillips, Miss 
Davis, Miss Froud. 

* Performers in 1769: Pinto, leader; Hook; Park, hautboy. 
Vocalists, Mrs. Forbes, Miss Brent, Mr. Herryman, Mr. Reynold- 


The ordinary admission at this time, and until the final 
closing of the gardens was one shilling, raised to half-a- 
crown, three shillings or three shillings and sixpence on 
the best nights, when the performers had their benefits. 
On such nights there were fireworks by Rossi and Clan- 
field ; the transparent Temple of Apollo was illumi- 
nated, and a ball concluded the entertainment. In 
1769 nearly the whole staflFtook a benefit, in their turn. 
Mrs. Forbes, Mr. Hook, Mr. Pinto, Piquenit the 
treasurer, the doorkeepers, and finally the waiters. 
Thomas Pinto was engaged as leader, James Hook, 
father of Theodore Hook, as organist (i 769-1 772), 
Mrs. Forbes and Miss Brent (afterwards Mrs. Pinto) 
as singers. Hook's " Love and Innocence," a pastoral 
serenata, was performed for the first time on 10 August 
(1769), and there were Odes by Christopher Smart, set 
to music by Arnold, and an " Ode to the I^aymakers," 
bv Dr. Arne. 

In 1770^ the leader was F. H. Barthelemon, one of 
the best known violinists of his time, and distinguished 
for his firmness of hand, and purity of tone. His 
burletta, "The Noble Pedlar," was successfully pro- 

* Performers, 1770 : Barthelemon (violin) ; Hook ; Reinhold, 
Charles Bannister ; Mrs. Thompson ; Mrs. Barthelemon ; Mrs. 
Dorman. It is well known that Thomas Chatterton the poet wrote 
a burletta called Tke Revenge^ which he sold to the management of 
Marybone Gardens for five guineas. It was not published till 1795, 
when it was issued as The Revenge^ a burletta acted at Marybone 
Gardens^ MDCCLXX, In the Marybone Gardens* advertisements 
of 1770 (and of later dates) no burletta bearing the name of The 
Revenge appears, and the writer of the article " Chatterton " in 
Diet, Nat, Biog, thinks that the burletta must have been performed 
at some time subsequent to 1770, the year of Chatterton 's death. 
In The Revenge as published, the dramatis persome are Jupiter, Mr. 
Reinhold ; Bacchus, Mr. Bannister ; Cupid, Master Cheney ; 
Juno, Mrs. Thompson. Reinhold, Bannister, and Mrs. Thompsop 
sang at the Gardens 1770-1773, and Cheney in 1770. I may add 
that a burletta called The Madman^ performed at the Gardens in 
1770, has a plot quite distinct from that of The Revenge, 


duced this year. " The Magic Girdle," and " The 
Madman," were also produced ; and the *^ Serva Pad- 
rona," was revived. On 4 September the Fourth Con- 
certo of Corelli, with the additional parts for trumpets, 
, Frendi horns. and kettledrums, was performed. In 
1771^ "The Magnet" was performed (first time, 
27 June) and Miss Catley, now principal singer at 
Covent Garden, made her re-appearance. 

From 1772 to 1774 the productions of Torre ^ the 
fireworker made the gardens very popular. Residents 
in the neighbourhood thought the fireworks a nuisance, 
and attacked Torre in the newspapers. Mrs. Fountayne 
produced a rocket-case found in her own garden, and in 
177^ Arnold, as proprietor, was summoned at Bow 
Street. He pleaded, however, a license from the Board 
of Ordnance, "and the fires of Torre continued to burn 
bright. Torre's masterpiece, often repeated at the 
Gardens, was called the Forge of Vulcan. After the 
fireworks were over, a curtain rose, and discovered 
Vulcan and the "'Cyclops " at the forge behind Mount 
Etna. . The fire blazed, and Venus entered with Cupid, 
and begged them to make arrows for her son. On their 
assenting, the mountain appeared in eruption, and a 
stream of lava poured down its sides. 

Numerous singers were engaged for 1772,^ Charles 
Bannister, Reinhold, Mrs. Calvert and others, and the 

*^ Performers, 1771 : Hook ; solo violin, Mons. Reeves ; Charles 
Bannister ; Mrs. Thompson ; Miss Esser ; Miss Harper (afterwards 
Mrs. John Bannister) ; Miss Thomas ; and Miss Catley who sang 
" The Soldier tired of War's Alarms " ; " Sweet Echo," from 
Comus (the echo " sung by a young gentleman "), &c. 

2 According to J. T. Smith (Rainy Day^ p. 52, n.), Torre was 

a print-seller in partnership with Mr. Thane, and lived in Market 

Lane, Haymarket. Other fireworkers at the Gardens at this 

period were Clitherow(i772) ; Clanfield (1772 and 1773) ; Caillot 

. of Ranelagh( 1 77 3, 1775, 1776). 

* Performers, 1772 : Hook, organ ; Charles Bannister, Culver, 
Reinhold, Mrs. Calvert, Mrs. Forbes, Mrs. Foster, Mrs. Cart- 
wright and Mrs. Thompson, 



musical entertainments were " The Divorce/' by Hook ; 
'* The Coquet," by Storace ; " The Magnet," and " La 
Serva Padrona." Bannister gave his clever musical 
imitations of well-known singers and of ** the Italian, 
French and German manner of singing.*' At Hook's 
Annual Festival on 28 August (1772) " II Dilettanti " 
(by Hook) was given for the first time with choruses 
by ** the young gentlemen from St. Paul's Choir." The 
pyrotechnic entertainments included a representation of 
Cox's Museum, and a magnificent temple consisting of 
"upwards of 10,000 cases of different fires all . . . 
lighted at the same time." During the fireworks, martial 
music was performed under Hook's direction in the 
Temple of Apollo.^ 

In 1773 ^ the Gardens were open for three evenings 
in the week. Handel's " Acis and Galatea" was per- 
formed (27 May), and Barthelemon's *^The Wedding 
Day," in which " Thyrsis, a gay young swain, is 
beloved by Daphne, an antiquated damsel." Arne 
conducted his catches and glees at a concert on 15 

In 1774* there was music every week-day evening. 
Several novelties were introduced, but the fortunes of 
the Gardens appear to have been waning. Dr. Arnold's 
" Don Quixote " was performed for the first time on 
30 June. The first Fete Champetre took place in July, 
but the newspapers attacked the management for charg- 

^ On his own benefit night in July 1772, Torrd gave a repre- 
sentation of Hercules delivering Theseus from Hell, in addition to 
the Forge of Vulcan. 

* Performers, 1773: Charles Bannister; Reinhold ; Phillips; 
Barthelemon (leader) ; Miss Wilde ; Mrs. Thompson ; Mrs. Bar- 
thelemon. ** Mr. Dibdin, of Drury Lane Theatre," was announced 
to sing in Barthelemon's " La Zingara, or the Gipsy " on Barthele 
mon's benefit night. 

^ Also on 13 June, 1774. 

* Performers, 1774: Fisher (violin), Dubellamy, Reinhold ; 
Mons. Rodell, ** musician to the King of Portugal," German flute ; 
Miss Wewitzer, Miss Trelawny, Miss Wilde. 


ing five shillings for an entertainment which consisted 
of a few tawdry festoons and extra lamps. Some of 
the visitors, we are told, " injured the stage and broke 
its brittle wares." One cannot help suspecting that Dr. 
Johnson was at the bottom of this outrage : at any rate 
during a visit of his to the Gardens at some time be- 
tween 1 772-1 774 a similar incident occurred. 

Johnson, who had heard of the fame of Torre's fire- 
works, went to the Gardens one evening, accompanied 
by his friend George Steevens. It was showery, and 
notice was given to the few visitors present, that the 
fireworks were water-soaked and could not be displayed. 
" This " (said Johnson) " is a mere excuse to save their 
crackers for a more profitable company. Let us both hold 
up our sticks and threaten to break those coloured lamps, 
. . and we shall soon have our wishes gratified. The 
core of the fireworks cannot be injured : let the different 
pieces be touched in their respective centres, and they 
will do their offices as well as ever." Some young men 
standing by indulged in the violence suggested, but 
failed to ignite the fireworks. " The author of T!he 
Rambler j^ as Mr. Steevens judiciously observes, ** may 
be considered, on this occasion as the ringleader of a 
successful riot, though not as a skilful pyrotechnist." A 
second Fete Champetre succeeded better, and the com- 
pany did not leave till six in the morning. 

During this year (1774), and in 1775 and 1776 the 
Gardens were open on Sunday, after five p.m., for a 
promenade (without music) ; and sixpence, returned 
in tea, coffee, and Ranelagh rolls, was charged for 
admission. As far back as 1760 the Gardens had been 
opened on Sunday, and " genteel persons were admitted 
to walk gratis," and to drink tea there. But this tea- 
drinking had been prohibited in 1764. The "Sunday 
Rambler," who visited Marybone Gardens about this 
time, speaks of them with profound contempt as a place 
of tea-table recreation. Nobody was there, the table- 
cloths were dirty, and the rubbish for Signor Torre's 



fireworks was left lying about. The Gardens, he adds, 
were " nothing more than two or three gravel roads, and 
a few shapeless trees/' • 

In the same year (1774) the managers of the Gardens 
advertised and opened (6 June) the Marybone Spa. In 
the winter of 1773 the City Surveyor, while searching 
for the City Wells in Marybone, had discovered in the 
Gardens a mineral spring. The public were now ad- 
mitted to drink this water from six o'clock in the 
morning. It was suggested that the waters might be 
useful for nervous and scorbutic disorders, but, in any 
case, " they strengthen the stomach, and promote a 
good appetite and a good digestion." 

But the end of Marybone Gardens, as an open-air 
resort, was rapidly approaching. In 1775 no concerts 
appear to have been advertised, though there were 
several displays of fireworks by Caillot in June, July, 
and August. Already in 1774, one of those profaners 
of the " cheerful uses " of the playhouse and the public 
garden — a lecturer and reciter — had appeared in the 
person of Dr. Kenrick (on Shakespeare). The manage- 
ment had now (June 1775) ^^ ^^'^ ^^^ ^^^ evening's 
entertainment on " The Modern Magic Lantern," con- 
sisting of whimsical sketches of character, by R. Bad- 
deley the comedian, and on a " Lecture upon mimicry," 
by George Saville Carey. In July, a conjurer was in- 

In 1776 there was a flicker of the old gaiety. The 
Forge of Vulcan was revived in May, and there were 
fireworks by Caillot. A representation of the Boule- 
vards of Paris was prettily contrived, the boxes fronting 
the ball-room being converted into the shops of 
Newfangle, the milliner ; Trinket, the toyman ; and 
Crotchet, the music-seller.^ 

^ A large printed bill referring to this entertainment is in the 
possession of Mr. H. A. Rogers, and is reproduced in his f^iews of 
Pleasure Gardens of London y p. 30. 


The Gardens closed on 23 September, 1776, and were 
never afterwards regularly opened. Henry Angelo 
(^Reminiscences)y referring to the Marybone Gardens 
in their later days, says they were "adapted to the 
gentry rather than the haut tony Whatever this dis- 
tinction may be worth, it is clear from the comparative 
paucity of the contemporary notices that the Marybone 
Gardens, though a well-known resort, at no period 
attained the vogue of Ranelagh, or the universal popu- 
larity of Vauxhall. 

About 1778 the site- of the Gardens was let to the 
builders, and the formation of streets (^see §1) begun. 
J. T. Smith 1 states that the orchestra, before which he 
had often stood when a boy, was erected on the space 
occupied by the house in Devonshire Place, numbered 
(in 1828) " 17." According to Malcolm, a few of the 
old trees of the Gardens were still standing in 18 10 at 
the north end of Harley Street. 

The old Rose of Normandy (with a skittle alley at 
the back) existed, little altered, till 1 848-1 850, when a 
new tavern was built on its site. The tavern (still 
bearing the old name) was subsequently taken by Sam 
Collins (Samuel Vagg), the popular Irish vocalist, who 
converted its concert-room into a regular music hall. 
The. Marylebone, which he carried on till 1861, when 
he parted with his interest to Mr. W. Botting. The 
present Marylebone Music Hall (with the public bar 
attached to it) fronts the High Street, and standing 
on the site of the old Rose of Normandy, from which 
the Marybone Gardens were entered, may claim, in a 
measure, to be evolved from that once famous pleasure 

1 Nollekens^ i. 33, chap. ii. 

^ Ac a bazaar held in the fortman Rooms, Baker Street, in 1887 
(Nov. 22-26), for the benefit of the charities of Marylebone 
Church, an ingenious reproduction was attempted, under the 
direction of Mr. Thomas Harris, the architect, of the latticed 


[Sainthill's Memoirs^ 1659 (Gent, Mag, vol. 83 ; p. 524) ; ad- 
vertisements, songs, &c., relating to Marybone Gardens (i 763-1 775)^ 
Brit. Mus. (840, m. 29); Newspaper advertisements, songs, &c., in 
W. Coll. Newspaper cuttings, &c., relating to London Public 
Gardens in the Guildhall Library, London ; Smith's Book for a 
Rainy Day^ p. 40, fF. ; Thomas Smith's Marylebone ; Blanchard, in 
Era Almanack^ 1869, p. 32, fF. ; Grove's Diet, of Music (1880), art. 
" Marylebone Gardens," by W. H. Husk. Angelo's Reminiscences^ 
"• ?• 3 ; Timbs's Romance of London; Walford, iv. 431, fF. ; 
Thomas Harris's Historical and Descriptive Sketch of Marylebone 
Gardens^ London, 1887.] 


1. A view of Marybone Gardens and orchestra, J. Donnowell 
del. 1755 ; published by J. Tinney. Grace, Cat, p. 566, No. 74. 

2. Modifications of i, published by R. Sayer, 1755, and by 
Bowles and Carver. Grace, Cat, p. 566, Nos. 75, 76. Also 1761, 
published by J. Ryall [W. Goll.]. 

3. Views of Rose of Normandy* Grace, Cat, p. 566, Nos. 79-8 1 ; 
p. 567, No. 82. 

^—^^ 1^1 ■■■ ■ ■■■■! I ■■^■■■. ■■III ^^»^^ ■ M^M^^^^^^^ii^^^— ^M^ 

alcoves, lamp-hung trees, &c., of the old Marybone Gardens (see 
A Booke of ye olde Marybone Gardens^ 1887 (sold at the bazaar) ^ 
Daily Telegraph for 23 November, 1887). 


In the neighbourhood of the Marylebone Gardens 
were a few much humbler places of entertainment, 
standing in what in the last century was a rural district ; 
the Queen's Head and Artichoke, the Jew's Harp house 
and, farther west, the Yorkshire Stingo. 

The Queen's Head and Artichoke was in Marylebone 
Park, nearly opposite Portland Road, and about five 
hundred yards from the north side of the New Road 
(Marylebone Road). It was a small and picturesque 
old inn, standing in a meadow to which a footpath led, 
and displaying a portrait of Queen Elizabeth as its sign. 
Tradition attributed the building of the house to a 
gardener of the Queen, and the curious combination of 
the sign was believed to have something to do with 
this. The inn is marked in Rocque's map of 1745, 
and it probably then possessed, as it did at the begin- 
ning of the present century, a ground for skittles and 
"bumble-puppy," and shady bowers, in which cream, 
tea and cakes were served. 
^ It was pulled down about 1 8 1 1 , and the Colosseum 

afterwards occupied part of the site. A new tavern was 
then built near the site of the old inn, and this is prob- 
ably identical with the public-house called the Queen's 
Head and Artichoke, which is now No. 30 Albany 
Street, east side. 

[Genf. Mag, 1819, pt. 2, p. 401 ; Larwood and Hotten, Hist, of 
Signboards^ .1^1^, 311, 312 ; Walford, v. p. 255 ; Smith, Book for a 


Rainy Day; Wheatley, London P. and P., s.v. "Jew's Harp," and 
"Albany Street " ; Hone's Tear Book^ p. 318 ; Clinch's Maryleboniy 
pp. 40 and 45.] 


1. A water-colour drawing by Findlay, 1796. Grace, Cat. 
p. 569, No. 104 ; cp. an engraving of the inn in Walford, v. p. 258, 
and a small sketch in Clinch's MaryUbonCy p. 45 (dated 1796). 

2. An engraving published in Gent, Mag, 18 19, pt. 2, p. 401 ; 
reproduced in Clinch's Maryiebone^ facing p. 40. 



The Jew's Harp House was in Marylebone Park, a 
little to the north-west of the Queen's Head and Arti- 
choke, from which it was separated by fields. It is 
marked in Rocque's map of 1745, and while still a 
quiet inn, is said to have been a favourite haunt of 
Arthur Onslow, the famous Speaker (^. 1691, d. 1768), 
who used to take his pipe and glass in the chimney 
corner. One day when driving to the House of Com- 
mons in his coach, he was recognised by the landlord, 
and on his next visit to the inn was welcomed by the 
family as befitted Mr. Speaker. His incognito was 
thus betrayed, and he returned no more. 

By 1772 it had become a recognised place of amuse- 
ment provided with "bowery tea-gardens," skittle- 
grounds,^ a trap-ball ground and a tennis court. A large 
upper room, reached by a staircase from the outside, was 
used as a dining-room for large parties and occasionally 
for evening dances. Facing the south of the premises 
was a semi-circular enclosure with boxes for ale and tea 
drinking, guarded by painted deal-board soldiers. 

The place was in existence till about 18 12, when it 

^ An account of the robbery and murder in 1808 of Mr. William 
Joachim in the Marylebone Fields mentions that he was on his way 
home to Lisson Grove, after a visit to the Jew's Harp Tavern to 
see the skittle-playing (F. Miller's St, Pancras^ p. 238). 



was removed for the formation of Regent's Park. It 
stood between the present Broad Walk of the Park, 
and the north-east corner of the Botanic Gardens. 

[J. T. Smith's Swi fir a Rainy Day, pp. 17, 18 (ed. 1833) ; 
Hone's Tear Boat, p. 318 ; Larwood and Hocten, SignharJs, pp. 
3+0, 341, where J. T. Smith's description of the Jew's Harp, 

Marylebone, is wrongly referred to the Jew's Harp, Islington ; 
Timbs's Clui Life (j866), ii. p. 136 ; Chambers's Boek of Days, 
ii. p. 74; Wheatley'a London, b.v. "Jew's Harp"; Walford, v. 
p. 155 ; Clinch's MaryUhne and St. Pancras, p. 48 ; Picture of 
London, 1801, p. 370.] 


The Jew's Harp public-house in Marylebone Park. A water- 
colour drawing by Bigot, 1794- Qrace, Cat. p. 569, No. 106 ; cp. 
a sketch in Clinch's Marylebone, p. 48! 


The Yorkshire Stingo, a public-house on the south 
side of the Marylebone Road, nearly opposite Chapel 
Street and the entrance to Lisson Grove, is the modern 
representative of a rural inn of the same name that was 
in existence at least as early as 1733. 

From 1770 (or earlier) extensive tea gardens and a 
bowling green were attached to the place.^ 

During the first forty years of the present century 
the gardens were much frequented by the middle classes, 
especially on Sundays, when admittance was by a six« 
penny ticket including refreshments. For several years, 
from about 1790, a fair was held on the first of May at 
or near the Yorkshire Stingo, and the May-dance with 
Jack-in-the-Green took place.^ This fair was sup- 
pressed as a nuisance in the early part of the present 

In 1836 and for a few years following, the Yorkshire 
Stingo had its Apollo, or Royal Apollo, Saloon, in 

1 Wheatley, London Past and Present^ s.v. " Yorkshire Stingo/* 
states on the authority of Cooke's Old London Bridge^ p. 7, that a 
bridge designed by the celebrated Thomas Paine, being the second 
cast-iron bridge ever constructed, was brought to London in 1790 
and set up in the bowling-green of the Yorkshire Stingo ; it was 
afterwards taken back to Rotherham (where it had been made in 
1789) and broken up in 1 791. 

* The Picture of London^ 1802, p. 370, mentions the Yorkshire 
Stingo as a house many years celebrated for rustic sports on 
May Day. 

I 2 


which concerts, vaudevilles and comic burlettas were 
given every evening.^ On gala nights, balloon ascents, 
fireworks and other entertainments took place in the 
grounds. The admission was one shilling. 

The tea-gardens and bowling green were closed about 
1848, and the present County Court and the Maryle- 
bone Baths and Wash-Houses,^ nearly adjoining the 
present Yorkshire Stingo on the east were built on their 

[Thomas Smith's Marylebone^ p. 185 ; Walford, iv. 410 ; v. 256; 
Larwood and Hotten, Signboards ^ ?• 384; Picture of London^ 1802 and 
1829 ; Wheatley's London P. and P. "Yorkshire Stingo."] 


1. "The Yorkshire Stingo in 1770," a small sketch in Clinch's 
Marylebone^ p. 46, showing the tavern and the entrance to the tea- 

2. View of the new County Court and the Baths and the Wash- 
Houses, built upon the ground of the late tea-gardens, &c., of the 
Yorkshire Stingo Tavern. A woodcut, 1849. Crace, Cat. p. 567, 
No. 89. 

^ Newspaper cuttings in W. Coll. ; cp. Hollingshead's My Life- 
time^ i. 24, and see also Stuart and Park, The Variety Stage, p. 38, 
who mention Cave and Glindon as the comic vocalists. The 
saloon, which was in the rear of the tavern, had a small but capable 
orchestra directed by Love, afterwards leader at the Princess's 
Theatre under Charles Kean. Miss Tunstall of Vauxhall was at 
one time a singer there. 

2 Pulled down about 1895, 


The Bayswater Tea Gardens, situated in a region 
once noted for its springs and salubrious air, were 
originally the Physic Garden of "Sir" John Hill, 
botanist, playwright, and quack doctor : — 

" His farces are physic, his physic a farce is," 

and in this garden he grew the plants for his wonderful 
Water Dock Essence and Balm of Honey. 

Hill died in 1775, and his garden was (some years 
before 1795) turned into a place of amusement, known 
as the Bayswater Tea Gardens, and much frequented by 
the denizens of Oxford Street and neighbourhood.^ 
Views of 1796 show the boxes and arbours, and a 
family party, more plebeian than that in George 
Morland's " Tea Garden," in full enjoyment of their 
tea. Waiters are bustling about with huge kettles 
crying " 'Ware kettle, scaldings ! " 

The Bayswater Tea Gardens are mentioned in the 
Picture of London^ 1823--1829, among those frequented 
by Londoners of the middle classes. From about 1836 
they appear to have been called the Flora Tea Gardens, 

For the 27th June, 1836, Mrs. Graham was an- 
nounced to make her ascent from the gardens at five 
o'clock, in her silk balloon. In the evening were fire- 

^ Woodward's Eccentric Excursions^ p. 18. 




works, the admission being one shilling. In August 
1839, Hampton, the aeronaut, made an ascent about 
seven in the evening in his Albion balloon from these 
gardens, which were crowded by "a fashionable and 
respectable company." The balloon moved over the 
Kensington Gardens, and Hampton then descended in 
his safety parachute, this descent being the feature of 
the performance. The parachute struck against a tree 
and fell. Hampton was extracted from the tackle in a 
shaken condition, but was borne on the shoulders of 
four men into the Flora Gardens amid loud applause, 
and a grand display of fireworks concluded the enter- 

At a later date the place was called the Victoria Tea 
Gardens, and became well known for running matches 
and other sporting meetings. The gardens continued 
open till 1854, but their site, together with that of 
Hopwood's Nursery Grounds, was afterwards (from 
about i860) covered by the houses of Lancaster Gate. 

[Art. " Hill John, M.D." in Diet, of Nat. Biog. ; Lysons's En- 
virons^ iii. p. 331 ; Era Almanack^ 1871 ; Faulkner, Kensington^ 
p. 420 ; Wheatley, London P. and P. s.v. " Bayswater " and " Lan- 
caster Gate" ; Walford, v. pp. 183, 185, 188 ; newspaper cuttings, 
W. Coll.] 


" View of the Tea Gardens at Bayswater," two oval prints in 
Woodward's Eccentric Excursions^ plate v. Woodward del., J. C. 
sculp. London, published 1796 by Allen and West. 







These Wells were situated close to old St. Pancras 
Church on its south side. In connection with them was 
a tavern originally called the Horns, and its proprietor, 
Edward Martin, issued in 1697 a handbill setting forth 
the virtues of the water, which he declares to have been 
found '* by long experience " a powerful antidote 
against rising of the vapours, also against the stone and 
gravel. It likewise cleanses the body and sweetens the 
blood, and is a general and sovereign help to nature. 
For the summer season of this year (beginning on Whit- 
Monday) Martin promised to provide dancing every 
Tuesday and Thursday. The charge for the " water- 
ing " and such other diversions as were obtainable was 

In 1722 a proprietor of the Wells laments that the 
credit of the place had suffered for many years ** by 
encouraging of scandalous company " (probably some 
of " the pretty nymphs " mentioned ^ by Thomas 
Brown) and by making the Long Room a common 
dancing room. He promises to prevent this in the 
future, and to exclude undesirable characters from the 
garden walks. 

About 1730 Pancras Wells seem to have regained 
their reputation ; at any rate they were industriously 
advertised, and the London print-dealers sold views of 
the gardens and the rooms. The water could be 

1 Before 1702. 


obtained at the pump-room, or a dozen bottles of it 
might be purchased for six shillings of Mr. Richard 
Bristow, goldsmith.^ At this time, and for forty or 
fifty years later, the surroundings of the Wells were 
completely rural, and visitors might be seen coming 
across the fields by the foot-paths leading from 
Tottenham Court, Gray's Inn, and Islington. The 
gardens and premises had now (1730) reached their full 
extent. Facing the church was the House of Enter- 
tainment, and behind this was the Long Room (sixty feet 
by eighteen) with the Pump Room at its west end. 
The gardens lay further south, in the rear of these and 
other buildings. A pleasant stroll might be taken in 
the New Plantation or in the shaded, but formal, garden 
known as the Old Walk. Little is heard of the Wells 
during the next thirty or forty years. But in June 
1769 the proprietor, John Armstrong, advertised the 
water as being in the greatest perfection. The place, 
however, was probably now chiefly frequented as a 
" genteel and rural " tea garden, with its hot loaves, 
syllabubs, and milk from the cow. Dinners were also 
obtainable, and the powerful refreshments of "neat 
wines, curious punch, Dorchester, Marlborough, and 
Ringwood beers." 

According to Lysons, the Pancras water continued in 
esteem till some years before 1795, ^^^ when he wrote 
(1795-1811) the Well appears to have been enclosed 
in the garden of a private house. Part of the site of 
the old Wells and walks was formerly occupied by the 
houses in Church Row, but these have been swept away 

1 T/^e Country Journal^ or the Craftsman^ 7 March, 1729-30. 
If an allusion in a pamphlet of 1735 — A seasonable examination oj 
the pleas and pretensions of , . , . Playhouses erected in defiance of 
Royal Licence {London^ printed for T. Cooper, 1735) — maybe relied 
on, Pancras Wells had about that time some kind of (unlicensed) 
theatrical or " variety " entertainments resembling those of Sadler's 

/ *%j!iWmWrP^ Ml * * ■* * ^ ^ 



^J> ) 

» - 9 d^ ^ ''*f %JL1L 




for the premises of the Midland Railway connected with 
the St. Pancras Terminus.^ 

[T. Brown's Letters from the Dead to the Livings part ii. first pub- 
lished 1702, "Moll Quarles to Mother Creswell " ; Dodsley's 
London^ 1761, s.v. ** Pancras " ; Lysons's Environs^ iii. (1795), p. 381 ; 
Supplement (1811), p. 283; Gent, Mag, 1813, pt. 2, p. 556; 
Beauties of England and WaleSy x. part iv. (18 16), p. 175 ; Clinch's 
Marjlebone and St. Pancras; Palmer's St, Pancras; Miller's St, 
Pancras; Roffe's St. Pancras (1865), p. 10 ; Lewis's Islington^ 
p. 37, note ; Walford, v. 339.] 


1. A bird's-eye view of St. Pancras Wells, showing the garden, 
house, &C.9 the old church, &c., with a description of the mineral 
waters. A tinted drawing, 175 1, Grace, Cat, p. 580, No. 57. The 
original engraving is of circ. 1730 ; see Palmer's St, Pancras^ p. 246, 
fF.; Clinch's Maryiebone, p. 156 ; Walford, v. 336. 

2. " The south-west view of Pancras Church and Wells." 
Chatelain del., J. Roberts sc, 1750. Crace, Cat. p. 579, No. 45 ; 
W. Coll. (PI. 30 in Chatelain's Fifty f^iews) ; also the south-east 
view, Chatelain's Fifty yiews, pi. 29, with " Adam and Eve." 

3. Pancras Wells. A north view of the garden, house, &c. 
Copy of an old drawing, 1775, Crace, Cat. p. 580, No. 58. 

4. A view of the Long Room at St. Pancras, and the Trap-Ball 
Ground. Copy of an old drawing, 1775. Crace, Cat. p. 580, 
No. 59. 

5. Colonel Jack robbing Mrs. Smith going to Kentish Town 
{near the Wells). W. Jett del., J. Basire sc, 1762. Crace, Cat, 

p 580, No. 60. 

^ According to Roffe {St, Pancras), Pancras Wells occupied the 
south side of Church Hill from its base to its summit. Palmer in 
his St, Pancras, published in 1870, says the Well "is now enclosed 
in the garden of a private house, neglected and passed out of 



The Adam and Eve Tavern, situated near the west 
end of old Saint Pancras Church, was in existence at 
least as early as 1730^, and is mentioned in 1754^ 
as a resort of the London *' cit." In 1778 it could 
boast of a long room adorned with gilt-framed oval 
pier-glasses ; ^ and in 1786 the landlord, Charles 
Eaton, advertised * the attractions of his gardens and 
pleasure grounds. 

About the beginning of the present century it could 
still be described as an agreeable retreat " with enchant- 
ing prospects," and the gardens were well laid out with 
arbours, flowers and shrubs. Cows were kept for making 
syllabubs, and on summer afternoons a regular company 
met to play bowls and trap-ball in an adjacent field. 
One proprietor fitted out a mimic squadron of frigates 
in the garden, and the long room was a good deal used 
for bean-feasts, and tea-drinking parties.^ 

^ It is shown in the bird's-eye view of Pancras Wells of 1730. 
In April 173 1, James Dalton, a notorious footpad, robbed a linen- 
pedlar at night near the Adam and Eve after drinking with him at 
the tavern (Pinks's Clerkenweli, p. 549). 

2 The Connoisseur^ 1754, No. 26. 

^ Five of these pier-glasses were stolen from the long room in 
1778 {London Evening Post^ 11 — 14 July, 1778). 

* Advertisement of 1786 quoted in Clinch's Mary le bone and St. 
Pancras^ p. 157. 

* There are advertisements of the Adam and Eve issued (at the 
-end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century ?) 


In 1 803, about three and a half acres of the Adam 
and Eve tea-gardens were taken to form the St. Giles- 
in-the-Fields Cemetery (adjoining the old St. Pancras 
Churchyard), though the tavern still lingered on. In 
later years (circ. 1 865-1 874) the Adam and Eve was 
an ordinary public-house. It still retained (1874) 
a portion of its old grounds, which were used by its 
frequenters for bowl-playing. This ground, however, 
was enclosed by a high wall, and was overlooked by the 
mean houses that formed Eve Place. The building 
has since been taken down. 

£F. Miller's St, Pancras, pp. 45 and 49 ; Palmer's St. Pancras ^ 
pp. 244, 24 s ; Roffe's St. Pancras, p. 3 ; Picture of London^ ed. 
1802, p. 370 ; Wheatley's London, III., 20, 22,23 ; see also notes.] 


The Adam and Eve is shown in the 1730 view of Pancras Wells» 
and in the views of old St. Pancras Church, e.g,, in the " South 
view of the Church of St. Pancras," printed for Bowles and Carver 
(W. Coll.). 

by G. Swinnerton, Junr. and Co., and by George Lambert (quoted 
in Walford, vol. v. p. 338). The Picture oj London, 1805, mentions 
the Adam and Eve Tea-gardens, bowling-green, &c., but the con- 
version of the gardens into the cemetery (authorised by Act of 
Parliament in 1803) appears to have been already carried out in 


The Assembly House was in existence in 1725 ^ or 
earlier, and consisted of a large inn, partly built of 
wood, with a Long Room on the south, entered from 
outside by a covered staircase. This room for many 
years continued to be used for dancing by the elite of 
the neighbourhood. 

By about 1776 the village of Kentish Town had be- 
come a somewhat populous place, and in the summer- 
time was much resorted to by Londoners, who took 
lodgings there, or made brief excursions thither. In 
1788 the Assembly House was taken by a Mr. Thomas 
Wood, who specially advertised his trap-ball and 
skittle-ground, pleasant summer-house, and extensive 

The house was pulled down in 1853, and its site and 
that of the garden covered by houses. The Assembly 
House tavern (No. 298 Kentish Town Road) and a 
police station have been built on the baiting ground 
and yard that were formerly in front of the old 

^ There is a mention of the inn in 1725 : the Assembly Rooms 
were certainly in existence in 1750* and perhaps at an earlier date. 
The original sign of the inn appears to have been the Black Bull ; 
see Notes and Queries^ ist ser. viii. p. 293 ; W. Elliot's Some Account 
of Kentish Town (1821), p. 65. 



[Miller's St, Pancras^ p. 294, ff. ; Roffe's St, Pancras^ pp. 10, 
II ; Walford, v. p. 320 ; Palmer's St, PancraSy p. 62, fF.] 


1. "The Assembly Rooms, Kentish Town, 1750," Walford, v. 

2. "The Old Assembly House, Kentish Town," May 1853 ; 
drawn and etched by W. B. Rye, Etchings^ London, 1857. 


White Conduit House was originally a small ale- 
house of the seventeenth century, and, according to 
tradition, the workmen who built it were carousing 
there to celebrate its completion on the day of the 
execution of Charles I. 

It derived its name from the water-conduit, faced 
with white stone, which stood in a field nearly opposite. 
In 1 73 1 White Conduit House was still a one-storied 
building, but between that date and about 1745 it was 
pulled down, or altered,^ and a Long Room added. 

From about 1 745 the garden was well laid out, and 
possessed a circular fish-pond and a number of pleasant 
arbours. Robert Bartholomew, the proprietor in 1754, 
added a long walk, and, to prevent his visitors being in 
the " least incommoded from people in the fields," con- 
structed a fence some seven feet in height. Hot loaves, 
tea, coffee and liquors *in the greatest perfection* 
were the refreshments offered, and he assured those 
who drank his milk, procured directly from the cow, 
that his animals ** eat no grains." Cricket was played at 
this time (1754) in a meadow adjoining the house ; bats 
and balls being provided by the proprietor.^ 

^ The new or altered building contained the circular structure 
shown in so many views of the place. 

* The White Conduit meadow long continued in use as a cricket 
ground. About 1784 and subsequently a club composed of gentle- 

K 2 


The house contained rooms for tea-drinking, and also 
the Long Room, from whence "is the most copious 
prospects and airy situation of any now in vogue/' a de- 
scription ungrammatical but correct, for White Conduit 
House at this time, and until about 1775, was pic- 
turesquely situated. Standing on rising ground, and 
environed by pleasant country lanes and pastures, it 
commanded towards the north fine views of Hampstead 
and Highgate. 

In 1774 the gardens at the back of the house were 
described as being laid out with several pleasing walks, 
prettily disposed, with the pond in the centre, and an 
avenue of trees. For the accommodation of the tea- 
drinkers, there were " genteel boxes " let into the 
hedges, and decorated with Flemish paintings. A large 
painting was placed at the far end of the avenue, and 
seemed to increase its length. 

Under Robert Bartholomew (who was probably pro- 
prietor until his death in 1766) White Conduit had 
become a popular tea-garden, and till about the end of 
the eighteenth century, its visitors, though never in the 
least people of fashion, were on the whole of a respec- 
table class. The favourite day was Sunday in the spring 
and summer-time, when large numbers of holiday-folk 
crowded the house and gardens. The * City prig,' in 
white satin waistcoat and scratch wig ; the graver man 
of business, clad in brown, his wife and family, were 
persons of consequence here ; while their dependants 
also spent their holiday at the same place : — 

Wish'd Sunday's come, mirth brightens ev'ry face, 
And paints the rose upon the housemaid's cheek, 
Harriot, or Mol, more ruddy. Now the heart 
Of 'prentice, resident in ample street. 

men and men of rank played its matches there. Among the players 
were the Duke of Dorset, Lord Winchilsea, Lord Talbot, Col. 
Tarleton, and Thomas Lord, who afterwards established the 
Marylebone Cricket Club. 


Or alley, kennel-wash'd, Cheapside, Cornhill, 

Or Cranbourne, thee for calcuments renown'd. 

With joy distends. His meal meridian o'er 

With switch in hand, he to White Conduit House 

Hies merry-hearted. Human beings here 

In couples multitudinous assemble, 

Forming the drollest group that ever trod 

Fair Islingtonian plains. Male after male. 

Dog after dog succeeding, husbands, wives. 

Fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, 

And .pretty little boys and girls. Around, 

Across, along the gardens' shrubby maze 

They walk, they sit, they stand. What crowds press on. 

Eager to mount the stairs, eager to catch 

First vacant bench, or chair in long room plac'd. 

Here prig with prig holds conference polite. 

And indiscriminate the gaudy beau 

And sloven mix. Here he who all the week 

Took bearded mortals by the nose, or sat 

Weaving dead hairs, and whistling wretched strain. 

And eke the sturdy youth, whose trade it is 

Stout oxen to contund, with gold-bound hat 

And silken stocking strut. The red-arm'd belle 

Here shows her tasty gown, proud to be thought 

The butterfly of fashion.^ 

Curtseys, bows and compliments were the order of 
the day. A White Conduit method of effecting an 
introduction was for the gallant 'prentice to tread on 
the lady's train, to apolc^ise profusely, and finally to 
suggest an adjournment for tea in one of the arbours. 
By five o'clock on a fine Sunday afternoon a seat was 
hardly procurable ; for the tea-drinking was then in 
full vigour, and the famous White Conduit loaves ^ in 
great request. 

Among its frequenters White Conduit House could 
number Oliver Goldsmith, who was wont (circ. 1768) 
to call there at tea-time on his ** shoemaker's holidays."^ 

^ A poem by W. W[oty] printed in the London Chronicle^ 1760^ 
vol. vii. p. 531. 

* "White Conduit Loaves " was a London cry till about 1825. 

* Forster's Life of Goldsmiths cp. Goldsmith's Citizen of the 
Worlds Letter 122. 


(cp. Highbury Barn, infra). On one occasion, meeting 
in the gardens the wife and daughters of a tradesman 
to whom he was under some obligation, he treated the 
ladies handsomely to refreshments ; only to find when 
the reckoning came, that his purse was empty. ^ Abra- 
ham Newland, the famous cashier of the Bank of England, 
was also a visitor at White Conduit, and, at a later 
time George Cruikshank ^ made many of his character 
sketches there. The visitors came to dread his sketch- 
book, and children who made faces were set on their 
good behaviour by the threat that Mr. Cruikshank 
would put them in his book. 

In 1794, or earlier, the owner of White Conduit 
was Mr. Christopher Bartholomew,^ a man of consider- 
able means, who did much to improve the grounds. At 
one time he owned the freeholds of both the Angel 
Inn, Islington, and White Conduit House, and was said 
to be worth ^^ 50,000. Having won a lottery prize, he 
gave a public breakfast in the Conduit gardens "to 
commemorate the smiles of fortune," as the invitation 
tickets expressed it. Unfortunately his taste for gamb- 
ling in the Lottery increased, and soon his entire for- 
tune was squandered, and he ultimately died in poverty 
at a mean lodging in March, 1809, at the age of 

The surroundings of White Conduit House were 
still agreeable, and in 1803 we find references to the 
fine prospect, and the mild refreshing breezes from 
the abundant hay crops for which the district was noted. 
By about 1833, however, brickfields and rows of houses 
had destroyed its rural aspect. 

^ ** An Awkward Position," a painting by A. Solomon, depicts 
the situation. This was exhibited in the Royal Academy, and re- 
produced in the Illustrated London Netos^ 14 June, 1851. 

* Ashton, The Fleets p. (i6. 

^ Bartholomew sold his interest in White Conduit House 
25 March, 1795. 


Until about the beginning of the present century. 
White Conduit House appears to have had no enter- 
tainments apart from its tea-gardens, and from the 
organ performances^ in the house. But under the 
proprietorship of Sharpe and Warren (from about 18 11, 
or earlier, till 1828) several changes took place. The 
pond was filled in and planted over, and a new tea and 
dancing saloon, dignified by the name of the Apollo 
Room, and subsequently converted into a billiard-room, 
was erected in the north-west angle of the gardens. The 
tea-boxes were enlarged, and the old paintings removed 
or defaced. A pretty miniature steeple, set up in the 
last century, and a maze were still to be seen in the 
garden. From about 1825 White Conduit House 
possessed a band-stand, and a small stage erected at 
the north-east end of the grounds, which were further 
embellished with fountains and statuary. 

Bowls and dutch-pins were played, and archery (in 
1827) was a popular amusement. Balloon-ascents were 
also a feature ; the most important being those made by 
Graham (1823-1825) ; Mrs. Graham (1826) ; Charles 
Green (1828); and John Hampton in 1842, and on 
19 August 1844 when Hampton was accompanied by 
** Mr. Wells " (Henry Coxwell). In 1 824 (September) 
at a Benefit and Gala Fete thirty kinds of fireworks 
were displayed : fiery pigeons flew across the gardens, 
and two immense snakes went in pursuit of one another. 

In 1825 the place was advertised as " the New Vaux- 
hall : White Conduit Gardens," and evening concerts, 
variety entertainments and firework displays were given 
in the grounds. On 21 June of this year, in 
commemoration of the Battle of Waterloo, a grand 
Gala and Rural Fete took place in the evening, with 
a concert and fireworks. There was music in the 
Quadrille Room and the Country Dance Room ; and 
for dancing in the Grand Walk, the Pandean band. 

^ About 1772 these performances were prohibited on Sundays. 



The gardens were illuminated by variegated lamps ; 
" vigilant officers " were in attendance, and no person 
was admitted *' in dishabille." The admission was two 

Chabert/ the fire-eater, was here in 1826 (June). 
After swallowing arsenic, oxalic acid, boiling oil and 
molten lead, without, it is said, feeling any inconveni- 

ence, he entered a large heated oven, supported by four 
pillars, and there cooked a leg of lamb and a rump 
steak, which he proceeded to divide among the specta- 
tors. The admission was half a crown and eighteen- 
pence. In July of this year, Mrs. Bland here made her 

1 Sec a bill in the London Sections Collection, Guildhall 
Library, and cp. Rogers's Vinvs of Pleaiure Gsrdem tfLsndBn^ P- 5 S ; 
also G. Cruikshank's Ivan Ivanitz Chabcrt, a print published 
15 March, 1818. Hone's Every Day Book, ii. p. 771, IF. 


last public appearance. This singer,^ well-known for 
the sweet quality of her mezzo-soprano voice and 
unaffected rendering of English ballads, was long 
attached to Drury Lane Theatre, and for several years 
appeared at Vauxhall. About 1 8 24 her mind became 
affected, and on her recovery she was glad to accept an 
engagement at an inferior place of entertainment. 

In October 1826 the magistrates in granting the 
license stipulated that the music should cease at 11.30 
P.M., and that the gardens should close at 11.45. 
Masquerades and fireworks were prohibited. These 
restrictions, however, appear to have been subsequently 
withdra^vn or disregarded. 

About this period (1826) part of the south side of 
the gardens was cut off by the formation of Warren 
Street ; and a few years later (before 1833) a gasometer 
and a tall chimney disfigured the north-east corner of 
the grounds. 

The accommodation of White Conduit House having 
now become insufficient, a new hotel was contemplated. 
The first stone was laid on 2 February 1829, Messrs. 
Bowles and Monkhouse being then the proprietors. 
About the middle of June 1829 ^ the new building, 
referred to in the bills as " New Minor Vauxhall : 
White Conduit House, Hotel and Tavern," was opened 
with a concert and ball. It was a tall, plain structure. 
Its chief room, a large hall about eighty feet by sixty, 
was much used for dances, dinners, and political 

From many of the laudatory press notices, from 
about 1826 onwards, it might appear that White 
Conduit House was a crowded and even fashionable 
resort. But this was by no means the case. Sur- 
rounding buildings had spoilt the place, and at this 
period " Vite Cundick Couse," as its Cockney visitors 

^ Born 1769, died 1838. 

' Till May of 1829 the old building was still standing. 


called it, was comparatively neglected : the chimes of 
the miniature steeple were silent, and the gardens had 
lost their rural charm. 

Hone ^ severely describes it as a " starveling show of 
odd company and coloured lamps *' possessing a mock 
orchestra with mock singing, and a dancing room, in 
which no respectable person would care to be seen. In 
1832 (November) the magistrates refused to grant the 
license, and in 1834 (15 February) the proprietor was 
fined £^ for the ** rowdy" conduct of some of the 
audience. A satirical visitor in 1838 ^ ridicules the 
vocal attainments of the singers, and the gaudy dresses 
of the female performers, whose heads were decorated 
with blue roses and adorned with corkscrew curls. The 
audiences were now composed of the artisan class, the 
small shop-keeper, the apprentice and shop lad ; with 
a sprinkling of lawyers' clerks recognisable by their 
long hair, worn-out ** four and ninepenny gossamers," 
short trousers, and blucher boots, and by their 
conversation, which is described as no less objectionable 
than their cabbage-leaf cigars. 

From 1830 till the close of the place in 1849 ^^^ 
entertainments, beginning about 7.30, were of a very 
varied character ; concerts, juggling, farces and ballets. 
The admission, occasionally sixpence, was usually one 
shilling ; half of which was sometimes returned in 
refreshments. Ladies and children generally came in 
half price. A diorama, and moonlight view of Holy- 
rood were exhibited in 1830 ; and about the same time 
Miss Clarke made one of her ascents upon an inclined 
rope attached to a platform above the highest trees in 
the garden, reaching this eminence " amidst a blaze of 
light." Here, too, in 1831 (August), and also in 1836 
and 1837, Blackmore of Vauxhall made some of his 

1 Hone's Every Day Book^ ii. p. 1204, 

2 Cp. the White Conduit concert described in the Sketches by 
Box ("The Mistaken Milliner," cap. viii.); 


*' terrific ascents." A play of T. Dibdin's entitled the 
* Hog in Armour' was performed in 1831 (April), 
and Charles Sloman, the clever impromptu versifier,, 
appeared in August and September 1836. 

In 1839 Breach the proprietor, who exerted himself 
in popularising the house, placed its amusements under 
the management of John Dunn,^ styled the English 
Jim Crow on account of his imitations of T. D. Rice 
in "Jump Jim Crow." In 1841 a large painting of 
Windsor Castle and the park-troops was placed at the 
end of the centre (then denominated the Chinese) walk ; 
and in 1842 (July and August), a Mr. Bryant being 
the landlord, Batty's Circus was engaged. 

In 1843 K- Rouse was the proprietor, and in these 
later years the amusements of White Conduit House 
gradually deteriorated, until they were terminated on 
22 January, 1849, by a Ball given for the benefit of the 
check-takers. Three days afterwards the demolition 
of the house was begun, and it was soon levelled for a 
new line of streets, the present White Conduit public- 
house being erected on part of the site. 

The gardens had extended from Penton Street, in an 
easterly direction, to White Conduit Street, now called 
Cloudesley Road. Albert Street now approximately 
marks their southern boundary ; and Denmark Road 
the northern limit. 

[Fillinham's collection relating to White Conduit House in Brit. 
Mus. ; Pinks's Clerkenwell i Walford's Old and New London; 
Whcatley's London P. t!f P.; Lewis's Islington: Tomlins's Peramb. 
of Islington : Cromwell's Islington: Hone's Every Day BookyyQ\,'\\. 
p. 1 201, ff.; Mirror, 1833, vol. xxi. p. 426 ; Nelson's Islington: 
Brayley's Londiniana ; Era Almanacky 1871 ; newspaper cuttings in 
W. Coll.] 

1 The Variety Stage, by Stuart and Park, p. 8 ; 103. 



The Crace, Fillinham, and other collections contain numerous 
views, from which the following may be selected : — 

1. South view of White Conduit House in Lempriere's Set of 
Views, 173 1 ; reproduced in Lewis's Islington and Pinks's Clerken- 

2. White Conduit House, 1749. Engraving in Knight's Old 
England^ vol. ii. fig. 2,402. 

3. White Conduit House near Islington {circa 1771). A print, 
Crace, Cat, No. 200. 

4. White Conduit House in the -last century {circa 1780). A 
woodcut, Crace, Cat, No. 201. 

5. The Old White Conduit Tea Gardens, Islington. Coloured 
view, 1822 (W. Coll.). 

6. Old White Conduit House Tea Gardens. Sepia drawing, 
signed C. H. M. Fillinham Coll. p. 46. 

7. White Conduit House Tavern and Tea Gardens, 1828. 
Engraved heading of a White Conduit bill. Fillinham Coll. 

8. General View of the Gardens, White Conduit House. 
Fillinham Coll. p. 46. 

9. White Conduit House. Engraving in Cromwell's Clerkenweh^ 
p. 216. 

10 White Conduit Gardens from Islington Terrace. Sepia 
drawing, signed C. H. M. 1829. Fillinham Coll. p. 46. 

11. Old White Conduit House. P. H. D. 1831, engraved in 
Rogers's Views of Pleasure Gardens ofLondon^ p. S3 (showing balloon 
and old conduit). 

12. The White Conduit Gardens, north view. Sepia drawing 
by C. H. Matthews, 1832. Crace, Cat, No. 204. 

13. View in Gardens showing stage, &c. Water-colour draw- 
ing, signed 1. F., June 2, 1832. Fillinham Coll. p. 48. 

14. A view in the Gardens of White Conduit House with the 
rope-dancing and fireworks. Sepia drawing, 1848. Crace, Cat, 
No. 207 ; cp. Ashton's The Fleet, 

15. White Conduit House, Hotel and Tavern. North-west 
view of front. A water-colour drawing by Matthews, 1849. Crace, 
Cat, No. 208. 

16. Bird's-eye view of the gardens of White Conduit House, 
taken from the balcony. A coloured drawing by Mr. Crace, 1849. 
Crace, Cat, No. 209. 



Dobney's Bowling Green, or, as it was originally 
called. Prospect House, stood on a portion of the site 
of Winchester Place (now part of Pentonville Road) 
near to the south-east corner of Penton Street, and 
opposite the New River Reservoir. It was in existence 
as early as the seventeenth century, a Mr. Ireland being 
rated in 1669 ^ for "the Prospect." 

Prospect House, standing on Islington Hill, derived 
its name from the fine views that it commanded, and 
in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a van- 
tage-ground from which artists often sketched St. 
Paul's and the Metropolis. It possessed good bowling 
greens probably as early as 1633, and in the spring of 
1 7 1 8 these were advertised as open for the accommoda- 
tion of all gentlemen bowlers. 

Later on, the place was called Dobney's (or D'Aubig- 
ney's) Bowling Green House, from the name of its 
proprietor, whose widow, Mrs. Ann Dobney, also kept 
the place for many years.^ She was succeeded by a 
Mr. Johnson, who called the place Johnson's Prospect 
and Bowling Green House. He converted the bowl- 
ing green, which was near the corner of Penton Street, 

1 The place appears to be referred to as early as 1633 as "the 
bowling place in Islington Fields" (Pinks, p. 710), 

2 Mrs. Dobney died at about the age of ninety on 15 March, 


into an al fresco amphitheatre, and in 1767 engaged 
the equestrian Price ' who drew large audiences by his 
performances, which lasted during the spring and 
summer season, beginning at six o'clock. Price is 

s^d to have made, by his exhibitions at Dobney's and 
elsewhere, a fortune of ^1 +,000. 

• Pinks states chat Price had been starring at the Three Hats, 
Islington, prior to his performance at Dobney's in 1767 (cp. 
Mcmoiri of J. de Castro (1814), p. 19, who says that Price, Thomas 
Johnson, and old Sampson exhibited at the Three Hats). This 
may have been the case, though from 1758 to the spring of 1767, 
Thomas Johnson was certainly the chief equestrian performer at 
the " Three Hats." 


In 1769 Philip Jonas performed there feats of 
manual dexterity, and the exhibition of the skeleton 
of a whale, three score feet long, was reckoned an 
attraction. In 1770, the house was occupied as a 
boarding-school by the Rev. John Davis, but the place 
was soon again re-opened as the Jubilee Gardens, in 
allusion to the Stratford Jubilee of Shakespeare. 

In 1772, Daniel Wildman, an expert in bee-keeping, 
gave on summer evenings a curious performance called 
** Bees on horse-back," described as follows : — 

** Daniel Wildman rides standing upright, one foot 
on the saddle, and the other on the horse's neck, with 
a curious mask of bees on his face. He also rid^s 
standing upright on the saddle with the bridle in his 
mouth, and by firing a pistol makes one part of the 
bees march over a table, and the other part swarm in 
the air, and return to their places again." This per- 
formance, together with other entertainments, began at 
a quarter before seven, and the admission was one 
shilling, or two shillings to the boxes and gallery. 

In 1774, the gardens were still open, but in a much 
neglected condition, as the walks were not kept in 
order nor the hedges properly cut. There were, how- 
ever, at this time several good apartments in the house 
and two tea-rooms on the north side of the bowling 
green, built one above the other, and Dobney's (as it 
was still popularly called) was a favourite Sunday resort 
of the London apprentice : — 

On Sabbath day who has not seen 
In colours of the rainbow dizened, 
The 'prentice beaux and belles, I ween. 
Fatigued with heat, with dust half-poisoned. 
To Dobney's strolling, or Pantheon, 
Their tea to sip or else regale. 
As on their way they shall agree on. 
With syllabubs or bottled ale.^ 

1 London Evening Post, August 1776. The Pantheon is the tea- 
house in Exmouth Street. 


In 1780, we hear of lectures and debates taking 
place in the house ; but in 178 1 " the lease and trade 
of the Shakespeare Tavern and Jubilee Gardens, 
formerly called Dobney's Bowling Green," were offered 
for sale by auction. At that time, according to the 
auctioneer's advertisement, Dobnev's consisted of a 
dwelling house, a building containing a bake-house, 
kitchens, &c., with an adjoining erection comprising 
two spacious rooms, capable of dining near two hun- 
dred people each, a trap-ball ground, bowling green 
and "extensive gardens properly laid out." 

The place, however, ceasing to be frequented, the 
ground was, about 1790, partly built over with the 
houses forming Winchester Place. The gardens, or a 
part of them, remained until 18 10, when they disap- 
peared.^ Dobney's Court, an alley on the east side of 
Penton Street, now occupies a small part of the original 

[Pinks's Clerkentoell ; Nelson's Islington; Lewis's Islington: 
Sunday Ramble; Tomlins*s Perambulation of Islington^ ^^, 160, 187 ; 
Memoirs of De Castro^ p. 29.] 


1. A drawing of Prospect House taken about 1780 was at one 
time in the possession of Mr. Upcott {Notes and Queries^ ist series, 
ix. 1854, p. 572). 

2. " A representation of the surprising performances of Mr. 
Price," engraved for the Universal Museum and Comp. Mag. {circ. 
1767), W. Coll. 

1 Tomlins in his Perambulation of Islington^ published in 1858, 
but written in part about 1849, describes Prospect House as still 
existing behind Winchester Place, though the bowling green (he 
says) had been already covered by Winchester Place. 


The Belvidere tavern and tea gardens in the Penton- 
ville Road, at the south-west corner of Penton Street, 
occupied the site of Busby's . Folly, itself a house of 
entertainment with a bowling green attached to it. 
Busby's Folly, which was in existence at least as early 
as 1664,^ afterwards (between 1731 and 1745) acquired 
the name of Penny's Folly. 

In August 1769, Penny's Folly was taken by a 
German named Zucker, who exhibited there his 
Learned Little Horse, while Mrs. Zucker played 
favourite airs on the musical glasses, and " the so-much 
admired and unparalleled Mr. Jonas " displayed his 
"matchless and curious deceptions." The entertain- 
ment began at 6.30, and took place in a large room 
commanding a " delightful prospect " from its fourteen 
windows. The admission was one shilling, and it was 
announced that " The Little Horse will be looking out 
of the windows up two pair of stairs every evening before 
the performances begin." 

The performances of Zucker had already been for 
some years in repute with holiday folk, and in 1762 he 
had received honourable mention in a prologue spoken 
at the Haymarket Theatre : — 

1 Busby's Folly is first mentioned in 1664 as a meeting-place of 
the Society of Bull Feathers Hall, a fraternity of Odd Fellows, 
It is supposed to have derived its name from Christopher Busby, 
landlord of the White Lion Inn, Islington, in 1668. 


How dull, methinks, look Robin, Sue and Nancy 

At Greenwich Park did nothing strike your fancy ; 

Had you no cheese-cakes, cyder, shrimps or bun. 

Saw no wild beastis, or no jack-ass run ? 

Blest Conduit House ! what raptures does it yield ; 

And hail, thou wonder of a Chelsea field ! 

Yet Zucker still amazingly surpasses 

Your Conduit-house, your pigmy, and your asses.^ 

Penny's Folly was afterwards pulled down and the 
Belvidere tavern came into existence about 1780. 

In the early part of the present century, and probably 
twenty years earlier, the Belvidere possessed a bowling 
green, and a large garden, with many trees and plenty 
of accommodation for tea-drinking parties. The chief 
attraction was a large racket-court. The garden and 
racket-court continued to be frequented till i860 or 
later. In 1876, the Belvidere was rebuilt and is now 
used as a public-house, the garden, or part of it, being 
occupied by the pianoforte works of Messrs. Yates. 

[Pinks's Clerkentoell^ 53i~533 5 Tomlins's Perambulation of Isling- 
ton^ 40, 41, 163, 164; Picture of London^ 1802, p. 370.] 


1. South front of Busby's Folly, one of C. Lempriere's Set of 
Views, 173 1 (woodcut in Pinks, p. 530) ; cp. woodcut in Tomlins's 
Perambulation of Islington, p. 164, and a water-colour drawing by 
C. H. Matthews in Grace, Cat. p. 606, No. 212. 

2. The Belvidere Gardens, early in the present century, woodcut 
in Cromweirs Clerkenwell (1828), p. 414, J. and H. S. Storer del. 
et sculp, (copied in Pinks, p. 531). 

3. The "Belvidere Gardens at the present time" {circ, i860 ?), 
Pinks, p. 532. 

1 Prologue written and spoken by Mr. Gibson before the Orphan 
at the New Theatre in the Haymarket on 31 May, 1762 {Owen^s 
JVeekly Chronicle or Universal Journal, June 5 to 12, 1762). The 
" wonder of a Chelsea field " mentioned in this prologue is evi- 
dently Coan, the dwarf (called "the jovial pigmy"), who attracted 
visitors to the Dwarfs Tavern in Chelsea Fields (see infra. Star 
and Garter, Chelsea). 


The Castle Inn is mentioned in 1754 as a Sunday 
resort of the lx>ndon " cit.," who frequented it in the 
evening to smoke his pipe and obtain the light refresh- 
ment of cyder and heart-cakes. The house must have 
stood nearly alone till 1768, when the oldest portion 
of the street called Colebrooke Row was built. The 
Castle Inn, with its tea gardens, was then the last house 
but one at the northern end of the Row.^ A pleasant 
nursery garden occupied, till about 1822, six acres of 
the ground in the rear of Colebrooke Row. 

The inn and tea gardens were still in existence about 
1772, but the house had ceased to be a place of public 
entertainment at the time when Nelson published his 
Islington^ i.e. 1 8 1 1 . 

[The Connoisseur^ No. 26 (1754) 5 Nelson's Islington (1811), p. 385; 
Lewis's Islington (1842), pp. 351, 352.] 

^ According to Nelson and Lewis, the house facing to the south 
at the northern termination of Colebrooke Row, was occupied 
about 1772 by the Rev. John Rule, who there kept a school, of 
some repute, for gentlemen's sons. The Castle Inn was the ad- 
joining house and a house next to the Castle was supposed by a 
doubtful tradition (cp. J. Knight, art. "Cibber" in Diet. Nat. Biog.) 
to be that in which Colley Cibber died 12 December, 1757 {see 
Nelson and Lewis). The old house with a red-tiled roof, still 
existing, though divided into the dwelling houses Nos. 56 and 57 
Colebrooke Row, was apparently the Castle Inn. The southern 
end of Colebrooke Row was built in the present century. The 
Row also now extends a little farther to the north than when 
Nekon wrote, so that Rule's house is not now at the extreme 
northern end of the Row. 

L 2 


The Three Hats was a picturesque old inn standing 
in the Upper Street, Islington, a few doors from the 
corner of the Liverpool Road and on the site of the 
present Islington branch of the London and County 

It first became known as a place of amusement in 
1758, when, in the field adjoining, Thomas Johnson, 
"the Irish Tartar," one of the earliest equestrian 
performers in England, made his debut. He galloped 
round the field standing first on one horse, then on a 
pair, then on thr^ horses. At one time he rode the 
single horse standing on his head, but as this posture 
" gave pain to the spectators " he discontinued it. His 
feats seem to have been of a simpler kind than those 
afterwards performed by the rider Price at Dobney's in 
1767. One of Johnson's performances at the Three 
Hats (17 July, 1766) took place in the presence of the 
Duke of York and of about five hundred spectators. 

In the spring of 1767 Johnson was succeeded by the 
equestrian Sampson, who announced his appearance at 
five o'clock at a commodious place built in a field 
adjoining the Three Hats. " A proper band of music " 
was engaged for this entertainment. In the summer of 
this year Sampson introduced his wife into his enter- 
tainment, and inserted the following advertisement in 
the Public Advertiser for 23 July : " Horsemanship at 
Dingley's, Three Hats, Islington. Mr. Sampson begs 


to inform the public that besides the usual feats which 
he exhibits, Mrs, Sampson, to diversify the entertain- 
ment and prove that the fair sex are by no means 
inferior to the male, either in courage or agility, will 
this and every evening during the summer season 
perform various exercises in the same art, in which she 
hopes to acquit herself to the universal approbation of 
those ladies and gentlemen whose curiosity may induce 
them to honour her attempt with their company." 


The Three Hats had other attractions besides the 
horsemanship and at least as early as 176S had become 
a favourite Sunday resort. In BickerstafFe's comedy the 
" Hypocrite," published in 1768, Mawworm says : 
" Till I went after him (Dr. Cantwell) I was little 
better than the devil. My conscience was tanned with 
sin like a piece of neat's leather, and had no more 
feeling than the sole of my shoe, always aroving after 
fantastical delights. I used to go every Sunday evening 
to the Three Hats at Islington — mayhap your ladyship 


may know it. I was a great lover of skittles, but now 
I can't bear them." 

Sampson's performances still continued in 1770 and 
additional diversions were occasionally provided : ** At 
the Three Hats, Islington, this day, the ist of May 
(1770) will be played a grand match at that ancient 
and much renowned manly diversion called Double 
Stick by a sett of chosen young men at that exercise 
from different parts of the West country, for two 
guineas given free ; those who brake the most heads to 
bear away the prize." "To begin precisely at four." 
*' Before the above mentioned diversion begins, Mr. 
Sampson and his young German will display alter- 
nately on one, two, and three horses, various surprising 
and curious feats of famous horsemanship in like 
manner as at the Grand Jubilee at Stratford-upon-Avon. 
Admittance one shilling each person." 

In 1 77 1 Sampson was under a cloud — he is said to 
have been ensnared " into gay company " by Price, his 
rival at Dobney's — and sold his horses to Coningham, 
who performed in the evening at the Three Hats 
(177 1 and 1772), and was announced as follows : — 
*' First : He rides a gallop, standing upright on a single 
horse, three times round the room without holding. 
Second : He rides a single horse on full speed, dis- 
mounts, fires a pistol, and performs the boasted feat of 
Hughes's leaping over him backwards and forwards for 
forty times without ceasing ; also flies over three horses 
on full speed, leaps over one and two horses on full 
speed as they leap the bar, plays a march on the 
flute, without holding, upon two horses, standing up- 
right." It was also announced that " Mr. and Mrs. 
Sampson, Mr. Brown, &c., will perform to make these 
nights the completest in the kingdom. The Tailor and 
Sailor upon the drollest horses in the kingdom. The 
doors to be opened exactly at five, and to mount at a 
quarter to five. Admittance in the front seats two 


shillings, and the back seats one. Mr. Coningham will 
engage to fly through a hogshead of fire upon two 
horses' backs, without touching them, and, for a single 
person, will perform activity with any man in the 

In 1772 Sampson resumed his performances at the 
Riding School of the Three Hats and gave lessons 
there. On Whit Monday some other curious attrac- 
tions were advertised in the Gazetteer (June 6, 1772) : 
** A young gentleman will undertake to walk and pick 
up one hundred eggs (each egg to be the distance of one 
yard apart) and put them in a basket within an hour 
and fifteen minutes ; if any egg breaks he puts down 
one in its place, for a wager of ten guineas. And on 
Whitsun Tuesday will be run for an holland shift by a 
number of smart girls, six times round the School." 

About this period the riding seems "to have come to 
an end,^ though the Three Hats continued for many 
years to be a favourite tea-garden until the ground at 
the back of the house was built over. The Morning 
Chronicle gives us a glimpse of the place in 1779 
(21 July) : "Yesterday morning upwards of twenty 
fellows who were dancing with their ladies at the Three 
Hats, Islington, were taken by the constables as fit 
persons to serve his Majesty, and lodged in Clerkenwell 
Bridewell, in order to be carried before the com- 

On 6 January, 1839, ^ ^^^ (which destroyed two 
neighbouring houses) so damaged the roof of the Three 
Hats, then a mere public-house, that in April of the 
same year the whole place was demolished, and the 
present branch office of the London and County Bank 
was erected on the site. 

^ Sampson's Riding School at Islington is mentioned in the 
Macaroni and Theatrical Magazine for January 1773, p. 162, to- 
gether with Astley's and Hughes's. 


[Lewis's Islington i Pinks's ClerkentoeiI.'\ 


1. Engraving of Three Hats and other old houses adjacent, in 
Gent. Mag. 1823, pt. 2, frontispiece ; cp. p. 113. 

2. A sepia drawing by C. H. Matthews, 1839. Grace, *Ctf/. 
p. 596, No. no. 

3. Engraving in the Grand Magazine^ showing Johnson's eques- 
trian feats, 1758, W. Coll. ; cp. Grace, Cat. p. 596, No. 108. 





The Barley Mow Tea House and Gardens were on 
the west side of Frog Lane, now Popham Road, 
Islington. They are first mentioned in 1786.^ About 
1799, the Barley Mow was kept as a public-house by 
a man named Tate, and George Morland lived there 
for several months, indulging in drinking and low 
company, but finding time to paint some good pictures 
which he generally sold for small sums. He often 
borrowed for sketching purposes old harness and saddles 
from a farm-house opposite, and was wont " to send 
after any rustic-looking character " to obtain a sitting. 
The Barley Mow has been used as a public-house to 
the present time, and is now No. 31, Popham Road, 
but it has been modernised, or rebuilt, and the garden 
has disappeared. 

[Nelson's Islington^ 128, 197 ; Cromwell's Islington^ p. 194, iF. ; 
Lewis's Islington^ 154, fF. ; Walford, ii. 262 ; Morning Herald, 
22 April, 1786.] 

1 They were probably in existence before this date, but are not 
marked in the survey of Islington of 1735. An advertisement in 
The Morning Herald oi zz April, 1786, announces the sale of the 
ground-rents of an Islington copyhold estate. This estate, situated 
" in the Lower Street, opposite Cross Street, Islington, and extend- 
ing down to Frog Lane," comprised a brick mansion and garden, 
four dwelling-houses and gardens, and the Barley Mow Tea House 
and Gardens. A plan of the estate was to be seen at Mr. Spurrier's, 
the auctioneer's, Copthall Court, Throgmorton Street. The estate 
was therefore between the present Essex Road, where it is touched 
by Cross Street, and Popham Road. 


The Canonbury House tea-gardens, a quiet and un- 
pretending resort of Londoners, derive a certain anti- 
quarian interest from their situation within the ancient 
park attached to Canonbury House, the mansion built 
by the Priors of St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield, for their 
summer residence. Houses in Canonbury Place, first 
erected about 1770, occupy the site of the old mansion, 
though a substantial relic still exists in Canonbury 
Tower, built in the sixteenth century, and during the 
last century let out for summer lodgings to various 
tenants, the best known of whom was Oliver Gold- 

About 1754a small ale-house was built by a Mr. 
Benjamin Collins on the eastern side of the mansion. 
This afterwards came into the possession of James Lane, 
who made additions to the premises, utilising, it would 
seem, a range of tiled outhouses on the east of the 
house which were supposed to have originally been its 

The place had a good reputation and became much 
frequented as a tea-garden under the name of Canonbury 
House. Lane died in 1783, and about 1785 the tavern 
was taken by a Mr. Sutton, who died soon after, leaving 
the premises to his wife. 

The ** Widow Sutton " enlarged the tavern, which 
was then known as Canonbury House Tavern (or 
Canonbury Tavern), laid out a bowling green and 


improved the tea-gardens. The house was much used 
for the dinners of Societies. 

The gardens, which at this time occupied about four 
acres, were almost entirely situated within the old park 
wall of the Priors of St. Bartholomew's, and the wall 
on the east divided them from the open fields. The old 
fish-pond of the Priors was also connected. 

The Sunday Ramble describes Canonbury House in 
1797 as " a place of decent retreat for tea and sober 
treatment." In 18 10 an Assembly was established at 
the tavern, and about 181 1 the grounds consisted of 
a shrubbery and bowling green with Dutch-pin and 
trap-ball grounds and butts for ball-firing used by the 
Volunteers. The old tiled outhouses were used as a 
bake-house for the pastry and rolls till 1840, when 
they were pulled down. 

About 1823 the builders had invaded the rural 
neighbourhood of Canonbury, but the tea-gardens 
continued to be frequented as a pleasant resort till 
1843, or later. 

At sometime between 1843 and 1866 the Canonbury 
Tavern was rebuilt. It now stands on the north side 
of Canonbury Place, a little to the east of Canonbury 
Tower and on the opposite side of the road. 

A garden, though not of the old dimensions, is still 
attached to the tavern and open to the public during 
the summer. 

[Nichols's Canonbury y 1788, 33 ; The Ambulator, ist ed. 1774, 
s.v. "Canonbury House"; Kcarsley's Strangers^ Guide (1793?), 
s.v. "Canonbury or Cambray House " ; ji Modern Sabbath^ 1797, 
chap, vii.; Nelson's Islington, ^52; Brayley's Londiniana, iii. 269, iF.; 
Picture of London, eds. 1802 and 1829 ; Lewis's Islington, p. 310 ; 
Timbs's Club Life, 1866, ii. 228.] 


Exterior of Canonbury Tavern (north view), a small engraving 
published in 18 19 by R. Ackermann (W. Coll.) ; Crace, Cat. p. 602, 
No. 174. 


Copenhagen House stood alone on. an eminence 
in the fields, on the right-hand side of Maiden Lane, 
the old way leading from Battle Bridge to Highgate, 
being about midway between those places.^ 

It is known to have been a house of public entertain- 
ment in 1725 2 and was probably one much earlier, 
seeing that the oldest part of the building was in the 
style of the seventeenth century. " Coopen-hagen " 
is marked in a map of 1695.^ 

There are various accounts of the origin of the 
the name. A Danish Prince or a Danish Ambassador 
is said to have resided in the house during the Great 
Plague. Or, again, an enterprising Dane is said to 
have built the inn for the accommodation of his country- 
men who had come to London in the train of the King 
of Denmark on his visit to James I. in i6o6.* In the 

^ See the survey of roads in Islington parish in 1735 (Nelson's 
Islington^ p. 20). 

* Hone, Every Day Book^ i. p. 860, Tomlins {Islington, 204, 205) 
discovered that in 1753 it was occupied by a currier, and supposes, 
therefore, that it was not a place of entertainment till after that 
date. The meeting of the Highbury Society there before 1740 
seems however to bear out Hone's assertion that Copenhagen 
House was already an inn in the first half of the eighteenth 

* Map in Gibson's edition of Camden's Britannia^ 1695. 

* Hone, however, shows [pp. at, 860) that there is some reason 
for supposing that Copenhagen House was not in existence until 
after 1624. 


early part of the eighteenth century Copenhagen House 
is not often mentioned, though the curious Highbury 
Society ^ used to assemble here previous to the year 
1740, when it began to meet at Highbury. 

In 1780 a brutal robbery ^ of which the landlady, 
Mrs. Harrington, was the victim, attracted attention to 
the place. A subscription was opened for her benefit, 
and visitors came in such numbers that Mr. Leader, the 
owner of the House, pulled down the old wooden 
building attached to its western end, and built in its 
stead a long room for tea-drinking parties, with a 
large parlour below for drinking and smoking. There 
were gardens attached, with the usual accommodation for 
skittles and Dutch-pin playing. 

Under Mrs. Harrington's management, Copenhagen 
House first became celebrated for its Fives Courts. A 
young Shropshire woman (afterwards Mrs. Tomes) who 
assisted Mrs. Harrington, gave Hone an interesting 
little account of the introduction of the game : — " I 
made the first fives ball (she said) that was ever thrown 
up against Copenhagen House. One Hickman, a 
butcher at Highgate, a countryman of mine, used the 
house, and seeing me ' country,' we talked about our 
country sports, and amongst the rest, fives : I told him 
we'd have a game some day. I laid down the stone in the 
ground myself, and against he came again, made a ball. 
I struck the ball the first blow, and he gave it the 
second, and so we played ; and as there was company 
they liked the sport, and it got talked of. This was 
the beginning of tht fives-play y which has since become 
so famous at Copenhagen House." 

John Cavanagh (d. 18 19), the famous Irish fives 
player, had many matches at Copenhagen House for 

1 On the Highbury Society, see note in/ra under Highbury 

2 The graphic account in Hone {op. cit. 862) is worth reading, 
though too long for quotation here. 


wagers and dinners. The wall against which the com- 
batants played was (says Hone) the same that supported 
the kitchen chimney, and when the wall resounded 
louder than usual, the cook exclaimed, " Those are the 
Irishmaris balls," and the joints trembled on the spit. 
Hazlitt, in a pleasant memoir of Cavanagh,^ says that 
he had no equal in the game or second. He had no 
affectation in his playing. He was the best up-hill 
player in the world, and never gave away a game 
through laziness or conceit. His " service " was 
tremendous, but a peculiarity of his play was that he 
never volleyed, though if the ball rose but an inch from 
the ground he never missed it. "His eye," adds 
Hazlitt, " was certain, his hand fatal, his presence of 
mind complete." 

In 1795 the house was kept by Robert Orchard, 
notorious for his connexion with the London Corre- 
sponding Society, which at that time held tumultuous 
meetings in the adjoining Copenhagen Fields. Orchard 
was succeeded by a man named Tooth, who gained 
custom by encouraging brutal sports. At this time, 
" on a Sunday morning, the fives ground was filled by 
bull-dogs and rufllians, who lounged and drank to 
intoxication : so many as fifty or sixty bull-dogs have 
been seen tied up to the benches at once, while their 
masters boozed and made match after match, and went 
out and fought their dogs before the house, amid the 
uproar of idlers attracted to the * bad eminence ' by 
its infamy." 

There was also a common field, east of the house, 
wherein bulls were baited, and this was called the bull- 
field. At last the magistrates interfered, and in 18 16 
Tooth lost his license. The next landlord, a Mr. Bath, 
conducted the house respectably, and refused admittance 

1 Hazlitt's memoir is published in the Examiner for February 17, 
1819 ; most of it is reprinted in Hone's Every Day Bookj i. 865, ff. 


to the bull-dogs. The bull-field was afterwards used 
for the harmless purpose of cow-keeping. 

From about this period (18 16-1830) Copenhagen 
House was a favourite Sunday tea-garden with the 
middle-classes ^ who flocked there, especially in the 
summer-time during the hay harvest in the fields 
around.2 Although the builders were making their 
way up to Copenhagen House from London on the 
south, it still commanded an extensive view of the 
metropolis and western suburbs, with the heights of 
Hampstead and Highgate, "and the rich intervening 
meadows." In 1841 ^ the tavern and tea-gardens 
were still in existence, and the space between them and 
Highgate was still open fields. Attached to the house 
at that time was a well known cricket ground.* 

About 1852 the Corporation of London purchased 
Copenhagen House with its grounds and adjacent fields 
to the extent of about seventy-five acres, and began 
to build there the present Metropolitan Cattle Market, 
between the York and Caledonian Roads, which was 
opened in 1855. The old tavern (pulled down in 
1853^) and tea-gardens were thus swept away, and 
their site is approximately marked by the Great Clock 
Tower in the market.^ 

[Hone's Every Day Book, i, 858, fF. ; Nelson's Islington ; Lewis's 
Islington; Larwood and Hotten, Signboards, 435, 436; Walford, 
ii. 275, 276, 283 ; V. 374 ; Tomlins's Perambulation of Islington, 204, 

^ Picture of London, 1823 and 1829; Hone's Every Day Book, 
i. 859, 870. 

* The hay-harvest is referred to in Nelson's Islington, 181 1, 74. 
A view of 1809, published by Cundee in the Juvenile Tourist, 18 10, 
shows cockney visitors playing in the hay. 

* Plan in Lewis's Islington. 

* J. HoUingshead's My Lifetime, i. 13. The cricket ground was 
between Copenhagen House and Maiden Lane. 

^ Tomlins, Perambulation of Islington, p. 205. 
® F. Miller, St. Pancras, 269. 



1. Copenhagen Hoose, Islington, as it appeared in 1737, sepia 
drawing bj Bernard Lens. Grace, Cat. p. 604, No. 191. 

2. South-east view of Copenhagen House, printed for R. Sajer 
and J. Bennett, 20 March, 1783 (W. Coll.); the woodcut in 
Lewis's Islington J p. 283, is derived from this. 

3. Copenhagen House, Islington. J. Swaine del. 1793 ; J. 
Swaine, sculp. 1854* Woodcut (W. Coll.). 

4. There are several views of Copenhagen House in the nine- 
teenth century, see e.g. Hone's Every Day Book^ i. 858 ; Cromwell's 
Islington^ p. 204 ; Crace, Cat, p. 605, Nos. 194, 196 (views of 


5. ^The Grand Meeting of the Metropolitan Trades' Unions 

in the Copenhagen Fields on Monday, April 21, 1834." Coloured 
engraving by Geo. Dorrington (W. Coll.). This shows Copenhagen 
House and an enormous concourse in the fields. 


Highbury Barn Tavern with its gardens is, like the 
Canonbury House Tavern and gardens, rooted in a 
respectable antiquity, for it stood on the site of High- 
bury Barn^ which formed part of the farm attached 
to the old country seat^ of the Prior of the Knights 
of St. John of Jerusalem. 

Highbury Barn (the tavern) was originally a small 
cake and ale house which was in existence at least 
as early as 1740^ It was occasionally (about 1768) 
honoured by a visit from Oliver Goldsmith on one 
of his Shoemaker's holidays. Goldsmith and three 
or four of his friends would leave his Temple chambers 

1 Highbury Barn, /.^., the grange or farm of Highbury Manor, is 
mentioned by that name at an early period, and there are extant 
various leases of it of the fifteenth century, granted by the Prior 
and Convent of St. John of Jerusalem {e.g. " our certain grange, 
situate upon the site of our manor of Highbury called Highbury 
Barn " ; see Tomlins's Perambulation of Islington). The name High- 
bury Barn is, therefore, much older than the date of the incorpo- 
ration of the large barn of Highbury Farm with the Highbury 
Tavern premises. 

2 The site of the Prior's house was occupied by a private 
residence called Highbury House built in 1781 and immediately 
opposite the Highbury Barn Tavern. 

* The Highbury Society, formed by Protestant Dissenters to 
commemorate the abandonment of the Schism Bill at the end of 
the reign of Anne, met at first at Copenhagen House, but about 
1740 assembled at Highbury Barn. The members beguiled their 
pilgrimage from Moorfields to Highbury by bowling a ball of ivory 
at objects in their path. This society was dissolved about 1833. 



in the morning and proceed by the City Road and 
through the fields to Highbury Barn, where at one 
o'clock they enjoyed a dinner of two courses and pastry, 
at the cost of tenpence a head including the waiter's 
penny. The company then to be met with at the inn 
consisted of Templars and literary men, and a citizen 
or two retired from business. At about six, Goldsmith 
and his party adjourned to the White Conduit House 
for tea, and ended the day with supper at the Globe or 

The trade of the place greatly increased under the 
management of Mr. Willoughby, who, dying in Decem- 
ber 1785, was succeeded by his son. The younger 
Willoughby (landlord 1785-18 18 ?y laid out the gar- 
dens, bowling green and trap-ball ground.^ A large 
barn belonging to the neighbouring Highbury Farm 
(or Grange) was incorporated with the premises and 
fitted up suitably for a Great Room. Here a monthly 
assembly subscribed to in the neighbourhood was held 
in the spring and winter and monster dinner-parties 
of clubs and societies were accommodated. In 1800 
a company of eight hundred persons sat down to dinner, 
and seventy geese were to be seen roasting on the fire. 
Three thousand people were accommodated at the 
Licensed Victuallers' Dinner in 1841. 

^ The younger Willoughby was certainly proprietor in 1792 and 
later, and Lewis says he succeeded his father on the death of the 
latter in December 1785. In May 1789 Highbury House (Nichols, 
Canonbury, p. 31, note) opposite the Tavern was sold by auction, 
as were also Highbury Tea House with gardens and bowling-green 
and two good messuages adjoining, together with many fields in 
the neighbourhood. This sale does not, however, necessarily imply 
any change in the management of Highbury Barn, which may at 
that time have been only rented by Willoughby from the owner of 
Highbury House and the adjoining property. 

* A few years previous to 181 1 Willoughby cultivated at one 
end of the gardens a small plantation of hops, and afterwards 
erected a brewery on the premises. Highbury Barn was sometimes 
called " Willoughby's Tea Gardens " {Picture of London , 1802). 


About 1793 the garden commanded an extensive 
prospect, and as late as 1842 Highbury could be 
described as " a beautifully situated hamlet." 

In 1 8 1 8 the property was purchased by the former 
proprietor of the Grove House, Camberwell, and High- 
bury Barn was much resorted to as a Sunday tea- 
garden (circ. 1 823-1 830). The place then passed 
(before 1835) ^^^^ ^^^ hands of John Hinton (previously 
landlord of the Eyre Arms, St. John's Wood) who 
with his son Archibald Hinton, ultimately the sole 
proprietor, gave new life to the place and made High- 
bury Barn a kind of North London Cremorne. By 
about 1854 the number of monster dinner-parties and 
bean-feasts had much fallen off, and on Whit-Monday 
of that year Hinton opened his establishment for 
musical entertainments with a performance by the 
band of the Grenadier Guards. 

A license for dancing was granted in October 1856, 
and in July 1858 a Leviathan dancing platform, with 
an orchestra at one end, was erected in the grounds. 
It was open to the sky with the exception of one side, 
which consisted of a roofed structure of ornamental 
ironwork. The whole platform occupied four thou- 
sand feet. A standard of gas lamps in the centre 
of the platform and lamps placed round its railing 
lit up the place in the evening, when the gardens 
were frequented by large masses of people. In a 
more secluded part of the gardens was an avenue 
of trees, flanked by female statues, each holding a 
globular gas lamp. About 1858 the admission was 
sixpence, and at this time Highbury Barn was much 
frequented on Sunday evenings, when little parties 
might be seen on the lawn before the Barn or in 
the bowers and alcoves by its side. The gardens 
occupied five acres. 

Archibald Hinton gave up possession in i860; and 
in 1 861 Edward Giovanelli opened Highbury Barn, 


after having improved the grounds and erected a 
spacious hall for a ball and supper room. In 1862 
Miss Rebecca Isaacs and Vernon Rigby were the 
principal singers, and Leotard the gymnast was engaged 
for the summer season. On 20 May 1865 the Alex- 
andra Theatre was opened in the grounds, but the 
entertainments in the gardens were also continued. 
" The splendid Illuminations " were boldly advertised, 
and Blondin (1868), Natator the man-frog, and the 
Siamese Twins were engaged (1869). The riotous 
behaviour, late at night, of many frequenters of the 
gardens caused annoyance to the neighbours, who regu- 
larly opposed the renewal of the license. In October 
1870 the dancing license was refused, and next season 
Mr. E. T. Smith took the place of Giovanelli as 
manager, but the license being again refused in October 
1 87 1, Highbury Barn was finally closed. The flower- 
beds became choked with grass and weeds, and night- 
shade luxuriated around the dismantled orchestra. By 
the spring of 1883 the place had been covered with 
buildings, and a large public-house, the Highbury 
Tavern (No. 26, Highbury Park, N.), on part of the 
old site, alone commemorates this once popular resort. 

[Nelson's Islington; Cromweirs Islington; Lewis's Islington; 
Tomlins's Perambulation of Islington ; Kearslcy's Strangers^ Guide ; 
Walford, ii. 273. fF. ; Forster's Life of Goldsmith^ bk. iv. chap. 2 ; 
Picture of London^ 1802, 1823 and 1829; Ritchie's Night-side 0} 
London (1858) ; Era Almanack^ 1871, pp. 3, 4 ; M. Williams's Some 
London Theatres^ 1883, p. 33, fF. ; newspaper cuttings and bills, 
W. Coll.] 


1. Highbury Barn (gabled buildings), an etching from a drawing 
by B. Green, 1775 (W. Coll.). 

2. Highbury Assembly House, near Islington, kept by Mr. Wil- 
loughby, 1792, print published in 1792 by Sayer (W. Coll. ; also 
Crace. Cat, p. 603, No. 182). 


3. " Highbury Barn, Islington," engraving published May i,. 
1819, for R. Ackermann. 

4. Highbury Barn (exterior) {circ, 1835), engraving in Cromweirs 
Islington, p. 247, J. and H. S. Storer, del. et. sc. 

5. " The Leviathan Platform, Highbury Barn," woodcut in 
Illustrated London News, July 1858. 

6. Two views of " The Gardens, Highbury Barn Tavern " {circ^ 
1851), in Tallis's Illustrated London^ ed. Gaspey. 


This place, in spite of its unpromising name, 
deserves a brief notice as a quiet summer resort of 

The Devil's House was a moated timber building 
which originally formed the manor-house of Tolentone 
(afterwards Highbury) Manor. It stood on the east 
of Devil's Lane, previously (before 1735) called Tal- 
lington or Tollington Lane, and now known as the 
Hornsey Road. It was within two fields of HoUoway 

There was a tradition that the house was a retreat of 
Claude Duval's, and the house and Lane were sometimes 
known as "Duval's." There is, however, no direct 
evidence to connect the famous highwayman with the 
house, and Duval's House may be considered as a popular 
corruption of Devil's House. In a survey of Highbury 
Manor made in 1 6 1 1 , this house already bears the name 
of " Devil's House in Devil's Lane " and is described as 
being at that date an old building " with a mote, and a 
little orchard within." In the Islington Survey of 
1735, ^^ appears as ** Devol's House," an. apparent 
compromise between the fiend and the highwayman. 

^ Lysons, Nelson and Lewis all identify the moated house called 
in the Survey of 161 1 "The Devil's House" or the "Lov»^er 
House '* with the old Tallington or Tollington Manor House. In 
the survey of the roads of Islington (Nelson's Islington^ p. 20), 
however, both Tallington House and Devil's House are sepa- 
rately marked, the two being divided by Heame Lane, a lane 
running at right angles to Tallington (Devil's) Lane. This Tal- 
lington House must therefore have been an eighteenth-century 
residence and not the old Manor House. 


It is not known to have been a place of entertain- 
ment till 1767 when the landlord,^ who attempted to 
change the name to the Summer House, offered to 
London anglers and pedestrians the attraction of " tea 
and hot loaves, ready at a moment's notice, and new 
milk from the cows grazing in the pleasant meadows 
adjoining." The house was still encompassed with a 
wide moat crossed by a bridge, and there was an 
orchard with a canal. The garden which surrounded 
the house was well laid out, and the water was stocked 
with abundance of tench and carp. The place was still 
occupied and used as an inn in 1811,^ though about 
that time the landlord nearly filled up the moat with 

The house was in existence in 1 849 (or later),^ being 
on the east of the Hornsey Road near the junction with 
the Seven Sisters' Road. 

[Lysons's Environs (1795), " Islington," p. 127, note; Nelson's 
Islington^ 133, 173 ; Lewis's Islington^ pp. Sj^ 279, 280 ; Larwood 
and Hotten, ^tgnboards^ 294, 295, quoting a letter signed H. G., 
25 May, 1767, in the Public Advertiser^ which describes the place 
at that period ; Walford, ii. 275 ; Tomlins's Perambulation of 
Islington^ pp. 31, 32.] 


1. A view of the house, gardens and bridge appears in Walford, 
V. 378, "Claude Duval's House in 1825." 

2. Devil's or Du Val's House, Holloway, a sepia drawing by C. 
H. Matthews (1840) ; Grace, Cat, p. 604, No. 190. 

^ Nelson (////>r^^^;7), writing about 181 1, says that about thirty 
or forty years before his time (1776?) the landlord's name was 

* This seems to be implied by Nelson {Islington^ i8ii), who says 
that in his time the old " house had been fitted up in the modern 

^ Lewis's Islington^ 1841, mentions the house as still existing, 
and it is described as still standing in Tomlins's Perambulation of 
Islington^ a work published in 1858, but in part written nine years 
before the date of publication. 


HoRNSEY Wood House was situated on the summit 
of rising ground on the east of Hornsey and at the 
entrance to Hornsey Wood. It began to be frequented 
about the middle of the last century,^ and in the earlier 
years of its existence aspired to be "a genteel tea- 
house," though unpretending in appearance. On 
popular holidays, such as Whit-Sunday, its long room 
might be seen crowded as early as nine or ten in the 
morning with a motley assemblage of " men, women 
and children eating rolls and butter and drinking of 
tea at an extravagant price."^ 

The pleasures of Hornsey Wood House were of an 
unsophisticated kind — unlimited tea-drinking, a ramble 
in the wood, and a delightful view of the surrounding 
country. An excursion to Little Hornsey to drink 
tea was a favourite with London citizens' wives and 
daughters.^ Hone remembered the old Hornsey Wood 

^ Tea-drinking on Sunday at Little Hornsey is mentioned in 
the Connoisseur^ No. 68, May 15, 1755, and Hornsey Wood is 
referred to in T/^e Idler^ No. 15, July 1758^ in a way which implies 
that its reputation as a place of Sunday recreation was already 
well established. It appears from a passage in Loxo Life^ referred 
to in the next note, that in or before 1764 the sign of the tavern 
was The Horns. The place was, however, usually known as 
Hornsey Wood House, and in its latest days as Hornsey Wood 

* Low Life ( 1 764), p. 46. 

* Mr. Rose, the "citizen at Vauxhall,'*dcscribed in the Connoisseur, 
May 1755, No. 68, used to grumble when his wife and daughters 
went " to Little Hornsey to drink tea." 


House, as it stood (apparently before 1800), '* em- 
bowered and seeming a part of the Wood." It was at 
that time kept by two sisters, Mrs. Lloyd and Mrs. 
Collier, and these aged dames were usually to be found 
before their door on a seat between two venerable oaks, 
wherein swarms of bees hived themselves. 

Soon after their death (before 1 800 ?) the house was 
pulled down and the proprietor expended ^10,000 in 
improvements and in erecting the roomy brick building 
known as Hornsey Wood Tavern. The tea-gardens 
were enlarged and a lake formed, for the benefit of 
those who wished for a little angling or boating. To 
effect these improvements, a romantic part of the wood 
was destroyed, but the remaining portion still continued 
an attraction. About 1835 the "lower order of 
citizens" as T. Cromwell {Islingtofty p. 138) calls 
them, used to go " palming " to the wood on Palm 
. Sunday. All through the present century Hornsey 
Wood House (or Tavern) was a favourite Sunday 
resort of Londoners. 

In 1866 at the time of the formation of Finsbury 
Park, the house was pulled down and its site and that 
of the gardens and the Wood must be looked for in 
the Park, which was opened as a public recreation 
ground in 1869. 

[The Idler J No. 15, July 1758 ; Dodslcy's London^ 1761 ; Low 
Life (1764), p. 46 ; Sunday Ramble^ ^11^ ^^^ "^197 5 Kearsley*s 
Strangers^ Guide ; Lambert's London^ iv. 274 ; Picture of London^ 
eds. 1802, 1823 and 1829 ; Hone's Every Day Book, i. 759, fF. ; 
Lewis's Islington, pp. 190, 282 j J. F. Murray's World of London, 
1845, ii. p. 82, ff. ; Walford, v. 430, ff. ; Illustrated London NetvSy 
14 August, 1869 ; J. H. Lloyd's Highgate, 1888.] 



1. An engraving of old Hornsey Wood House &c., in Lewis's 
Islington J p. 282. 

2. There are many views of the later Hornsey Wood House (or 
Tavern), e,g. one engraved in Walford, v. 426, and there assigned 
to the year 1800. This is substantially the same as one (undated) 
in Hone's Every Day Book, i. 759. Hone, i6. 761, also gives a 
woodcut of the Lake. There is an engraving of the house of 1809, 
published by J. Cundee (W. Coll.), and there are views of it of a 
later date ; e,g, an engraving in Cromwell's Islington^ p. 138. 



This Spring Garden is marked in Warner's Survey 
of Islinpon^ 1735> rather to the south of Newington 
Green. About 1753 the tavern connected with the 
garden was taken by W. Bristow, who advertised the 
place as an afternoon tea-garden, appending to his 
advertisement the note " beans in perfection for any 
companies." ^ 

It is mentioned in how Life^ 1764 as resorted to on 
Whit-Sunday evening by Londoners of the lower 
classes. Cromwell in his Islington (p. 199) published 
in 1 835, speaks of the tavern and tea-gardens as existing 
** within memory." 

^ Newspaper cutting, 1753 (W. Coll.). 


The Black Queen CofFee-house situated on Shackle- 
well Green had attached to it a bowling green and 
tea-gardens planted with fruit trees, yews, limes, and 
poplars. It is said to have been resorted to by " genteel 
company," but little is known of it, except that in 1793 
(when in possession of a Mr. Moore) the lease was 
advertised to be sold by auction (13th September, 


[T/^e Daily Advertiser for 3 September, 1793.] 




The outlet of the once famous spring of Hampstead 
is at the present time to be found on the north side of 
Well Walk, and the water now trickles out slowly into 
a basin, which forms part of a modern fountain. The 
earliest mention of the spring occurs in the time of 
Charles II. when one Dorothy Rippin appears to have 
made some profit by the sale of the water, as she 
issued a halfpenny token which has on its obverse the 
words, Dorothy Rippin at the Well in Ham- 
STED, and a representation of a well and bucket.^ 
The well was in 1698 on the estate of Susanna Noel 
and her son Baptist, third Earl of Gainsborough, and 
was given by them conjointly on 20th December of that 
year, together with six acres of land, for the benefit of 
the Hampstead poor. A tablet on the present fountain 
records this gift. 

The first to draw attention to the medicinal value of 
the water, was a well-known physician. Dr. Gibbons,^ 
who in the early part of the eighteenth century de- 
scribed it as being as fully eflficacious as any chalybeate 
water in England. 

In April 1700 the water was advertised as being of 
the same nature and virtue as that at Tunbridge Wells, 

^ Sec Boyne's Trade Tokens^ cd. Williamson, ii. p. 818. This 
token is undated. The only dated token of Hampstead is one 
of 1670. 

* The " Mirmillo " of Garth's Dispensary, 

** • - • -V 

•..• ••• 


and was sold by Phelps, an apothecary, at the Eagle and 
Child in Fleet Street, for threepence a flask. It was also 
obtainable from the lessee of the Wells at the Black 
Posts, King Street, near the Guildhall ; at Sam's CoflFee 
House, Ludgate Hill, and at several other places in the 

From this time there grew up around the spring 
various places of entertainment — a tavern^ and coflFee 
room, a bowling green and raffling shops, and, as will 
be presently seen, a chapel. 

The chief building was the Great Room situated on 
the south side of Well Walk, about one hundred vards 
from the East Heath. It was a large house lit with 
long windows, and within its walls took place concerts 
and dances for the amusement of the Wells visitors up 
to 1733. The first recorded entertainment was given 
there in 1 701 (18 August), when there was a ** consort " 
of both vocal and instrumental music by the '* best 
masters.'* The performance began at ten o'clock in the 
morning, and dancing took place in the afternoon. The 
tickets for the dancing cost sixpence, and one shilling 
was charged for the concert. In September of the same 
year, another concert was given at eleven o'clock, at 
which one Jemmy Bowen sang and two men performed 
on the violin. There was dancing in the afternoon as 
usual. These performances were continued every 
Monday during the season. " Very good music for 
dancing all day long" was announced for 12 May, 
1707, and on 22 July, 17 10, a girl of nine, a pupil of 
Mr. Tenoe, sang several operatic songs, and this per- 
formance began at five for the ** conveniency of gentle- 
men's returning." The admission was two shillings and 

In the vicinity of the Great Room, stood Sion 

^ The modern public-house in Well Walk called the Wells 
Tavern, though at one period (before 1840) bearing the sign of 
the Green Man, is probably on the site of the original tavern. 


• • • • 

V.v. Chapel,^ where couples on presenting a license and the 
sum of five shillings could be married at any time. A 
clergyman was always in attendance, and if the newly 
V/.. married would take their wedding dinner in the garden 
••••• of the tavern nothing beyond the license was required. 
In 1 7 1 6 the chapel was referred to as a ** private and 
pleasure place " where many persons of the best fashion 
were married. It may be suspected, however, that the 
marriages were often, like those at the Fleet and Mayfair, 
irregular, and that the license was occasionally dispensed 

During the first ten or twenty years of the eighteenth 
century, Hampstead Wells presented a gay and varied 
scene. When tired of the music and dancing in the 
Great Room, the visitor could adjourn to the bowling 
green, or to the raffling shops, where the cards were 
flying and the dice rattling, while fine gentlemen lost 
their money with " ease and negligence." There was 
the promenade in Well Walk beneath the avenue of 
limes, or a stroll might be taken on the breezy Heath. 
Court ladies were there " all air and no dress '* ; city 
ladies all dress and no air, and country dames with 
** broad brown faces like a Stepney bun." Citizens like 
Mr. Deputy Driver in the comedy ^ came down from 
town, perhaps to find their ladies coquetting with a beau, 
or retired to picquet with some brisk young Templar, 
" This Hampstead's a charming place," exclaims Ara- 
bella the citizen's . wife : " To dance all night at the 
Wells ; be treated at Mother Huff's,^ have presents 

^ Sion Chapel (the exact site of which is unknown) is of course 
distinct from the Episcopal Chapel into which the Great Room 
was converted in 1733. 

2 Baker's comedy, Hampstead Heat k^ London, 1706. 

^ The Country Journal, or the Craftsman for 16 October, 1736, 
has the notice : — " On Sunday between seven and eight in the 
evening one Mr. Thomas Lane, a farrier of Hampstead, going home 
from the Spaniards upon the Heath near the house called Mother 
Huff's," was attacked and robbed and stripped naked by three men 
who jumped out of the bushes 


made one at the raffling shops, and then take a walk in 
Cane Wood with a man of wit that's not over 

With this gay and fashionable throng there mingled 
company of a lower class, such as the Fleet Street 
sempstresses who danced minuets " in their furbeloe 
scarfs" and ill-fitting clothes. By about 1724 the more 
rakish and disreputable element had become pre- 
dominant.^ Bad characters came from London in 
" vampt up old cloaths to catch the apprentices." Lord 
Lovemore might still court his "mimic charmer "2 
there, but modest people did not care to join the 
company on the walks. The playing and dicing were 
kept up as formerly, but gentlemen no longer lost with 
ease and negligence, and one sharper tried to cheat 
another. In 1733 the Great Room was converted into 
an Episcopal Chapel and was used for church services 
until 1849. ^ 1869 ^^^ West Middlesex Volunteers 
occupied the building. About 1880 it was demolished, 
and to-day a modern red brick house in Well Walk 
(erected in 1892), and the entrance to Gainsborough 
Gardens occupy the site. A tablet on the house 
testifies that the **01d pump room " (i.e. Great Room) 
once stood on the spot. 

In 1734 Dr. John Soame published a pamphlet in 
which he extolled with somewhat suspicious optimism 
the virtues of the neglected spring, recommending the 
water for cutaneous aflFections and nervous disorders. 
According to Soame, the spring ^ then threw oflF water 
at the rate of five gallons in four minutes, and could be 
made to throw a stream upwards to a height of at least 

^ Lysons's Magna Britannia, vol. iii. 1724, p. 44. 

^ This lady had made an earlier appearance at Cuper's Gardens ; 
see Welsted's Epistle on False Fame. 

* The spring at this time was adjacent to the Great Room, and 
was in this position, i,e, on the opposite side to the existing fountain, 
at any rate as late as 1806. 


twelve feet. " The Beautys of Hampstead," a song of 
this period, extols the " Chrystal bub'ling Well," ^ but 
the water-drinking does not appear again to have 
become the vogue, though as a place of amusement the 
Wells still enjoyed some degree of popularity. Another 
assembly-house, known as the Long Room, took the 
place of the old Great Room. This was a substantial 
red brick building of one storey. The ground floor 
consisted of an entire room with two small ante-rooms, 
one on either side of the entrance, used for tea-parties 
and card-playing. The floor above was divided up into 
rooms, where a cosy supper or a game of cards might be 
enjoyed. The house (probably built, in part, in the 
seventeenth century) still exists, and is to be found on 
the opposite side to the old Great Room, about a 
hundred yards further down Well Walk, going from 
the Heath. It is now a private residence called 
Weatherall House. It was in the Long Room that the 
Hampstead Balls took place of the kind described by 
Frances Burney. Here Evelina ^ was worried by Beau 
Smith, and refused the oflFers of " inelegant and low- 
bred '* partners, who " begged the favour of hopping a 
dance" with her. Samuel Rogers (Table Talk) says 
that in his youth (circ, 1783) the Hampstead As- 
semblies were frequented by " a great deal of good 
company," and that he himself danced four or five 
minuets there in one evening. 

In 1802 a surgeon named John Bliss published a 
treatise, in which, without success, he endeavoured once 
more to awaken an interest in the medicinal properties 
of the Well. Mr. Keates, consulting chemist to the 
Metropolitan Board of Works, in recent times stated 
that it was a distinctly chalybeate water containing sufli- 
cient iron to render it capable of producing marked 
therapeutic eflFects. It was extremely pure, and in 

^ In Bickham's Musical Entertainer (1733, &c.). 
2 Evelina (1778), letter li. 


general character, though with a larger proportion of 
iron, resembled that of Tunbridge Wells.^ 

[Dodsley's London (1761) ; Ambulator ^ 1774 5 Kcarsley's Strangers* 
Guide (1793 ?) ; Walford, v. ^d']^ fF. ; Thome's Environs of London 
(1876), 281 ; Sir Gilbert Scott's Proposed Destruction of the Weh 
fValk (Hampstead, 1879), with plan of Well Walk ; Park's Hamp- 
stead ; Baines's Hampstead,] 


1. The Pump-room, Well Walk {i.e. Great Room), since, the 
Episcopal Chapel, in Baines's Hampstead, from a drawing by 
Blanche Cowper Baines, after E. H. Dixon. 

2. The old Well Walk, Hampstead, about 1750 (Walford, v. 


3. A view of " Ye Long Room at Hampstead from the Heath." 

Chatclain del. et sculp. 1752 (W. Coll.). 

4. Well Walk, engraving in Howitt's Northern Heights, from a 

5. Well Walk in 1870 in Baines's Hampstead, from a sketch by 
Walter Field. 

^ The house. No. 17 in Well Walk, which is just behind the 
existing fountain, has a shallow well supposed to contain the source 
of the original spring. 


The old Spaniards inn, still standing on the north 
side of the road between the upper and lower Heath of 
Hampstead, deserves a brief mention, seeing that about 
the middle of the eighteenth century or earlier, it had 
attached to it a curious garden laid out by one William 
Staples, who was probably the keeper of the inn.^ 

A contemporary account describes how " out of a 
wild and thorny wood full of hills, valleys, and sand- 
pits," the ingenious Mr. Staples "hath now made 
pleasant grass and gravel walks, with a mount, from 
the elevation whereof the beholder hath a prospect of 
Hanslope steeple in Northamptonshire, within eight 
miles of Northampton ; of L^ngdon hill, in Essex, 
full sixty miles east," and of other eminences, the 
visibility of which was perhaps less mythical. 

The walks and plats were ornamented with a number 
of curious devices picked out with pebble stones of 
variegated colours. There were over forty of these 
quaint designs, such as the sun in its glory, the twelve 
signs of the Zodiac, the Tower of London, the grand 
colossus of Rhodes, the pathway of all the planets, the 
spire of Salisbury, Adam and Eve, the shield of David, 
the Egyptian pyramids, and an Egyptian sphinx : an 
odd association of things earthly and celestial. 

Towards the end of the eighteenth century the 

^ MS. History of Middlesex^ 1752, quoted by Park. 



Spaniards was much resorted to, especially on Sundays.' 
During the Gordon Riots of 1780, its landlord, Giles 
Thomas, is said to have arrested the prepress of the 
mob bent on the destruction of Caen Wood House, 
Lord Mansfield's residence, hard by, through rolling 
out his beer barrels into the road, and setting them 
abroach, thus gaining time to summon the military for 
the defence of the house. 


In the present century, though the mount and the 
pebbled plots had disappeared, the Spaniards gardens 
were rendered attractive by a bowling-green, and by 
pleasant arbours and parterres : it was resorted to by 
many a party of tea-drinkers like that of Mr, Raddle, 
Mrs. Bardell and her friends.^ 

1 A Modtrn Sabbatk, 1797, p. S3 i sec also Woodward's Eccentric 
Excursms, 13. 
* Dickens, PickteUi Papin, cap. xlvi. 


[Park's Hampstead ; Baincs's Hampstead -^ Walford, v. 445, ff.; 
Thome's Environs of London^ 1876.] 


1. The south view of the Spaniards (showing the garden as laid 
out by Staples) near Hampstead (Chatelain del., J. Roberts sculp. 
1750, W. Coll., reproduced in Chambers's Book of Days y ii. 71). 

2. The Spaniards Tavern, Hampstead, Middlesex, drawn and 
engraved for Dugdalc's England and Wales, 

3. View of the inn as at present, Walford, v. 445. 

4. " View of a skittle ground at Hampstead " (either the 
Spaniards or Jack Straw's Castle), Woodward's Eccentric Excursions^ 
coloured print, pi. iv. p. 14 (1796). 


New Georgia was situated in Turner's Wood to 
the north-east of the Spaniards tavern, Hampstead, 
and at the northern extremity of the road opposite the 
western lodge of Caen Wood. It was a wooden cottage^ 
two storeys high, irregularly constructed, and standing 
in a wilderness and garden laid out " in a delightful 
romantic taste/' The proprietor, Robert Caston, built 
the cottage in 1737, and opened New Georgia to the 

He was his own architect, builder, and gardener,, and 
probably compared his labours to those of the founders 
of the American colony of Georgia established in 1733. 
An inscription on the cottage explained the origin of 
New Georgia as follows : — '* I Robert Caston, begun 
this place in a wild wood, stubbed up the wood, digged 
all the ponds, cut all the walks, made all the gardens, 
built all the rooms, with my own hands ; nobody drove 
a nail here, laid a brick or a tile, but myself, and thank 
God for giving me such strength, being sixty-four years 
of age when I begun it." 

Tea was supplied in the cottage or the gardens, but 
the chief attractions were a number of mechanical 
oddities set in motion in the garden and in the various 
little rooms into which the house was divided. London 
shopkeepers, like Zachary Treacle,^ often made their 
way to the place on Sunday afternoons, and were 

1 Cp. The Idler, No. 15, July 1758. 


diverted by reptiles that darted forth when a board or 
spring was trodden upon, by a chair that collapsed 
when sat upon, and by various contrivances of water- 

The more boisterous, who on other Sundays delighted 
in a roll down the hill in Greenwich Park, found 
amusement in thrusting their heads into the New 
Georgia pillory to receive in that position the kisses 
of the ladies. A thickly-planted maze was another 
source of diversion. 

The place does not appear to have been frequented 
after about 1758, and was subsequently (before 1795)^ 
enclosed in the estate of Lord Mansfield. 

[Gent. Mag. 1748, voK 18, 109; T/^f Connoisseur ^ No. 26, 
25 July, 1754; if^e Idler ^ No. 15, 22 July, 1758; Lysons's En- 
virons^ \\. 527; Lambert's London (1806), iv. 255; Park's Hamp- 
stead ; Prickett's Highgate^ 72, ff. ; Walford, v. 446.]. 


New Georgia is clearly marked in Rocque's Survey, 1745, but 
there appear to be no views. 

' Lysons, Environs^ ii. 527. 


Belsize House was a large Elizabethan mansion, 
modified in the time of Charles IL Pepys, who visited 
it in 1668 (17 August) when it was the residence of 
Lord Wotton, describes its gardens as " wonderful fine : 
too good for the house the gardens are, being, indeed, 
the most noble that ever I saw, and brave orange and 
lemon trees." ^ 

The house was a private residence until 1720, 
when it was converted into a place of public amuse- 
ment, under the management of a Welshman named 
Howell. At this time it was a somewhat imposing 
structure, with wings, and a tower in the centre. The 
entrance was by a door placed between the wings, and 
also by an external staircase at one wing. 

The inaugural entertainment took place about April, 
1720, and consisted of an "uncommon solemnity 
of music and dancing." The place was usually open 
from 6 a.m. till 8 p.m., without charge for admission. 
The Park, Wilderness and Garden, about a mile in 
circumference, were advertised (about 1721 .?), as being 
wonderfully improved and filled with a variety of birds, 
'' which compose a most melodious and delightful har- 
mony." Those who wished for an early stroll in the 
park could " breakfast on tea or coffee as cheap as at 
their own chambers." As the journey from London was 

^ Evelyn {Diary, 2 June, 1 676) describes the gardens as very- 
large and woody, but ill kept. 


not unattended with risks, twelve stout fellows (after- 
wards increased to thirty), completely armed, were an- 
nounced as " always at hand to patrol timid females or 

Belsize became a fashionable rendezvous. In July 
1721 the Prince and Princess of Wales, attended by 
several persons of rank, dined at the house, and were 
entertained with hunting and other diversions. In June, 
1722, on the occasion of awild deer hunt, three or four 

hundred coaches brought down the " Nobility and 
Gentry " from town. Athletic sports were introduced, 
and the proprietor gave a plate of several guineas to be 
run for by eleven footmen (1721). Gambling and in- 
trigue were the less wholesome results of this influx of 
the nobility and gentry. In May 1722 the Justices took 
steps to prevent the unlawful gaming, while in the 
same year " A serious Person of Quality " published a 
satire called Belsize House, in which he undertook to 


expose ** the Fops and Beaux who daily frequent that 
Academy/' and also the " characters of the women who 
make this an exchange for assignations." 

This house, which is a nuisance to the land 

Doth near a park and handsome garden stand 

Fronting the road, betwixt a range of trees 

Which is perfumed with a Hampstcad breeze. 

The Welsh Ambassador has many ways 

Fool's pence, while summer season holds, to raise. 

For *tis not only chocolate and tea. 

With ratafia, bring him company. 

Nor is it claret, Rhenish wine or sack 

The fond and rampant Lords and Ladies lack 

Or ven'son pasty for a certain dish 

With several varieties of fish ; 

But hither they and other chubs resort 

To see the Welsh Ambassador make sport. 

Who in the art of hunting has the luck 

To kill in fatal corner tired buck. 

The which he roasts and stews and sometimes bakes. 

Whereby His Excellency profit makes. 

He also on another element 

Does give his choused customers content 

With net or angling rod, to catch a dish 

Of trouts or carp or other sorts of fish. 

The Welsh Ambassador was the nickname of the 
proprietor, James Howell, an enterprising though not 
very reputable person, who had once been imprisoned 
for some ofFence in Newgate. 

Races ^ and similar amusements continued for several 
years to be provided, and music was performed every 
day during the season. In the spring of 1733 (31 May) 
a race was advertised for ponies twelve hands six inches 
high. The length of the race was six times round the 
course ; ** Mr. Treacle's black pony," which distin- 
guished itself by winning the plate at Hampstead Heath 
in the previous year, being excluded. 

In 1736 a fat doe was advertised to be hunted to 

^ E.j^. "Galloway Races*' in 1725 and 1729. 


death by small beagles, beginning at nine in the morn- 
ing, and sportsmen were invited to bring their own 
dogs, if "not too large." In the same year (i6 Sep- 
tember) a boys* race was run, beginning at three 
o'clock, six times round the course : a prize of one 
guinea was given to the winner, and half a guinea 
to the second runner. " Each person to pay sixpence 
coming in, and all persons sitting on the wall or getting 
over will be prosecuted." 

For an afternoon in August 1737, there was an- 
nounced a running match six times round the park^ 
between "the Cobler's Boy and John Wise the Mile- 
End Drover," for twenty guineas. In 1745 there were 
foot-races in the park, and this is the last notice we have 
of Belsize as a place of amusement. 

The mansion falling into a ruinous state ^ was pulled 
down at the close of the eighteenth century (before 
1798), and a large, plainly-built house was erected 
in its stead. From 1 798-1 807 this new Belsize House 
was tenanted by the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval and 
others. In the autumn of 1853 the house was pulled 
down (cp. The Illustrated London News for 9th 
September, 1854, p. 239), and the buildings of the 
Belsize Estate were subsequently erected on the site 
of the Park. 

The present Belsize Avenue (on the west side of 
Haverstock Hill) is the representative of a beautiful 
avenue of elms, which originally led up to the old Bel- 
size House, the site of which was near the present St. 
Peter's Church. 

[Palmer's St. Pancras^ 227, ff. ; Baines*s Hampstead ; Walford v. 
494, ff. ; Hewitt's Northern Heights ; Lambert's London^ 1806, \\. 
256; Thome's Environs of London^ s.v. "Hampstead"; Park's 
Hampstead: newspaper advertisements, W. Coll.] 

1 Ambulatory 1774; Dodsley's London^ 1761. 



1. Old Belsizc House. A view on a Belsize House ad- 
vertisement, circ, 1721 ? and a view by Maurer, 1750 ; 
cp. Howitt*s Northern Heights and C. Knight's Old England^ ii. 
fig. 2404. 

2. Belsize House in 1800 (Walford, v. 492). 


The spring known as Kilburn Wells was situated in 
the Abbey Field near the site of the old Kilburn 
Priory, and in the rear of the Bell Tavern. It at- 
tracted public notice about the middle of the last 
century ; ^ and some endeavours were made, probably 
by the proprietor of the Bell, to bring Kilburn Wells 
into vogue: at any rate, in 1752 it is referred to as 
a place in some respects akin to Sadler's Wells : — 

Shall you prolong the midnight ball 
With costly supper at Vaux Hall, 
And yet prohibit earlier suppers 
At Kilburn, Sadler's Wells or Kupers ? - 

About 1773 Kilburn Wells began to be more widely 
known, and the proprietor's advertisement of 17 July 
in that year announced that the water was then in the 
utmost perfection, the gardens enlarged and greatly im- 

^ From the manuscript history of* Middlesex quoted by Park 
{Hampstead), the spring would appear to have been discovered about 
1742 ; the date on the reservoir containing the water was, how- 
ever, 1714, and Walford (v. 245) states that the spring was known 
before 1600. But there is no evidence that Kilburn Wells was a 
place of entertainment earlier than about 1742, though the Bell 
tavern dated from about 1600. 

2 Richard Owen Cambridge, Dialogue betweeyi a master and his 
servant (1752). "Kupers " = Cupcr*s Gardens, Lambeth. 


proved, and the house and offices " repainted and beau- 
tified in the most elegant manner." The Great Room 
was described as specially adapted for "the use and 
amusement of the politest companies " who might re- 
quire it for music, dancing, or entertainments. " This 
happy spot is equally celebrated for its rural situation, 
extensive prospects, and the acknowledged efficacy of its 
waters ; is most delightfully situated on the site of the 
once famous Abbey of Kilburn on the Edgware Road, at 
an easy distance, being but a morning's walk from the 
metropolis, two miles from Oxford Street ; the foot- 
way from Mary-bone across the fields still nearer. A 
plentiful larder is always provided, together with the 
best of wines and other liquors. Breakfasting and hot 

An account of the medicinal water drawn up by the 
usual " eminent physician " was given away to visitors, 
and in one of the rooms was a long list of the diseases said 
to have been cured. Tn 1792 Godfrey Schmeisser made 
a careful analysis of the water. It was a mild purgative, 
milky in appearance, and had a bitterish saline taste. 
The use of the water for curative purposes appears to 
have ceased in the early part of the present century 
(before 18 14), but the Old Bell, or Kilburn Wells as the 
place was generally denominated, enjoyed popularity as 
a tea-garden as late as 1829.^ 

About 1863 the Old Bell was pulled down, and the 
present Bell public-house erected on the spot. A brick 
reservoir long enclosed the spring, but some years ago 
it was demolished and built over. It stood immediately 
behind the Bank at the corner of Belsize Road. 

[Thome's Environs of London; Lambert's London^ iv. 288 ; 
Hewitt's Northern Heights; Baines's Hampstead ; Park's Hamp- 
stead ; Walford, v. 245, fF.] 

^ Picture of London^ 1802 and 1829. 

O 2 



1. The Bell Inn, Kilburn, 1750 (Walford, v. 246). 

2. The Bell Inn, Kilburn, from a mezzotint, 1789, reproduced 
in Haines's Hampstead, 

3. View of the Old Bell Inn at Kilburn on the Edgware Road. 
Rathbone del. Prestal sculp. 1789. Grace, Cat, p. 670, No. 76. 

4. An engraved handbill, describing the waters, at the top of 
which is a print of the Long Room, by F. Vivarcs ; mentioned in 
Park's Hampstead^ p. xxxi*, additions. 




§ I . Origin of Ranelagh 

About the year 1690 Richard, Viscount (afterwards 
Earl of) Ranelagh, Paymaster-General of the Forces, 
built for himself on the east side of Chelsea Hospital 
a private residence known as Ranelagh House, and laid 
out a garden. In 1691 ^ the house is described as 
" very fine within, all the rooms being wainscotted 
with Norway oak," and the garden plats and walks 
were ** curiously kept and elegantly designed." Bowack 
in 1705 says that the gardens were "esteemed to be 
the best in England, the size considered." Here Lord 
Ranelagh lived till his death in 17 12. 

In 1733 the property was sold, and at that time 
Lacy, patentee of Drury Lane Theatre, made arrange- 
ments for forming Ranelagh into a place of public 
amusement. Nothing decisive was done till 1 741, when 
a large circular building, the famous Rotunda (at first 
generally called the Amphitheatre), was erected in the 
Ranelagh grounds by William Jones, architect to the 
East India Company.^ 

The capital for the undertaking was furnished by a 
few shareholders, and was divided into thirty-six shares 
of ^1,000 each. The principal shareholder and 

^ Gibson, l^ieto of the Gardens near London^ Dec. 1691. 
^ Lord Ranelagh 's house remained standing till 1805, and was 
used in connexion with the Ranelagh entertainments. 



manager was Sir Thomas Robinson, Bart., M.P., 
whose gigantic form was for many years familiar to 
all frequenters of the Rotunda : a writer of 1774 calls 
him its Maypole and Garland of Delights.^ 

The Rotunda and Gardens were first opened on 
5 April, 1742, with a public breakfast, and a visit to 
Ranelagh became the vogue. Of the early fortunes of 
the place the best chronicler is Horace Walpcle. On 
April 22, 1742, he writes to Mann : — "I have been 
breakfasting this morning at Ranelagh Garden : they 
have built an immense amphitheatre, with balconies 
full of little ale-houses : it is in rivalry to Vauxhall and 
costs above twelve thousand pounds." ^ 

On May 26^ he again describes the "vast amphi- 
theatre, finely gilt, painted and illuminated ; into 
which everybody that loves eating, drinking, staring, 
or crowding, is admitted for twelvepence." In I744»* 
Mr. Walpole goes " every night constantly " to Rane- 
lagh, "which has totally beat Vauxhall." "Nobody 
goes anywhere else ; everybody goes there. My Lord 
Chesterfield is so fond of it, that he says he has ordered 
all his letters to be directed thither." "The floor is 
all of beaten princes " ; " you can't set your foot with- 
out treading on a Prince or Duke of Cumberland." 
In 1748,^ "Ranelagh is so crowded, that going there 
t'other night in a string of coaches, we had a stop of 
six and thirty minutes." 

In 1745 Mr. Thomas Gray had written to a friend ^ 

^ Robinson lived at Prospect Place adjoining the gardens. He 
died on 3 March, 1777. 

* Cp. Walpole's letter to Mann of 26 May, 1742 : "The 
building and disposition of the gardens cost sixteen thousand 

' Walpole to Mann, 26 May, 1742. 

* Walpole to Conway, 29 June, 1744. 
^ Walpole to Montagu, 26 May, 1748. 

^ Gray to Chute, July 1745 (Gray's Works^ ed. Gosse, ii. 
125, ff.). 


that he had no intention of following the stream to 
Ranelagh, and he touched a weak spot in the delights 
of the London Pleasure Gardens — the uncertainty of 
the London weather. " I have never been at Ranelagh 
Gardens since they were opened. . . . They do not 
succeed : people see it once, or twice, and so they go to 
Vauxhall. Well, but is it not a very great design, 
Very new, finely lighted? Well, yes, aye, very fine 
truly, so they yawn and go to Vauxhall, and then it's 
too hot, and then it's too cold, and here's a wind and 
there's a damp." But in August 1746 we find Gray 
declaring ^ that his evenings lately have been chiefly 
spent at Ranelagh and Vauxhall. 

Other literary people, at least as interesting as Wal- 
pole's Dukes and Princes, frequented Ranelagh. The 
learned Mrs. Carter was there in 1748, and found the 
gardens very pleasant on a June evening, though she 
did not relish such " tumultary torchlight entertain- 
ments." Goldsmith and Reynolds used to go there 
together about 1771, and Dr. Johnson "often went 
to Ranelagh," which he deemed, as the Rev. Dr. 
Maxwell apologetically observes, ** a place of innocent 

§ 2. The Rotunda 

The guide-books abound with architectural details of 
the Ranelagh Rotunda.*^ A sufficient idea of its general 
appearance may be gained by glancing at some of the 
contemporary prints and by noticing a few salient 
features. Writers of the time compare it to " the Pan- 
theon at Rome " : the Londoner of to-day will think 
rather of the British Museum Reading Room which it 
resembled in size and, to some extent, in general appear- 
ance. The circumference was 555 feet and the internal 
diameter 150 feet. It was entered by four Doric 

^ Works^ ed. Gosse, ii. 139. 

2 See especially Kearsley*s Strangers^ Guide (1793 ?). 


porticoes opposite one another, and the interior archi- 
tecture corresponded with the exterior. 

On the exterior was an arcade encircling the building, 
and above this arcade was a gallery reached by steps 
placed at the porticoes. 

In the interior was a circle of fifty- two ^ boxes, 
separated by wainscotting. Each box had its "droll 
painting " and its bell-lamp with candles ; and in each 
seven or eight people could be accommodated with 
refreshments. Benches covered with red baize were 
dispersed about the area, and the plaster floor was 
covered with matting. 

Above the circle of boxes was a gallery containing 
a similar range of boxes which were entered by folding- 
doors from the gallery outside the building. The 
Rotunda was lighted by sixty windows, and the chief 
material used in its construction was wood. 

The ceiling was painted an olive colour, with a rain- 
bow round the extremity, and there hung from it 
numerous chandeliers, each ornamented with a gilt 
crown and containing crystal bell-lamps of candles. 
When all the candles were lighted, the sight, we are 
told, was "very glorious." 

In the centre of the building was a remarkable square 
erection supporting the roof, and made up of pillars 
and arches elaborately decorated. This "grand and 
elegant structure " was nothing more or less than a fire- 
place containing a chimney and an open fire. On cold 
days in February and March the best place was " one 
of the hot blazing red-cloth benches " by the fire. This 
fireplace structure had originally contained the orchestra, 
but after a few years the orchestra was, for acoustic 
reasons, moved to the side of the Rotunda. Behind the 
orchestra was an organ by Byfield, set up in 1746.^ 

1 This was the number about 1793. 

2 Burney says that the first organist was Keeble, who was suc- 
ceeded by Butler. Burney himself was organist in 1770. 

r tANEiAGH, cite. 1751- 


Johnson declared that "the coup (CceiV of Ranelagh 
was " the finest thing he had ever seen." ^ When 
Johnson first entered Ranelagh and its brilliant circle, 
it gave, as he told Boswell,^ **an expansion and gay 
sensation " to his mind, such as he had never ex- 
perienced anywhere else. Miss Lydia Melford, in 
Humphry Clinker^ wrote about Ranelagh to her * dear 
Willis ' with an enthusiasm less restrained, and without 
Dr. Johnson's moralising comment : — '* Alas, Sir, these 
are only struggles for happiness/' "Ranelagh (she 
writes) looks like the enchanted palace of a genio, 
adorned with the most exquisite performances of 
painting, carving, and gilding, enlightened with a 
thousand golden lamps that emulate the noonday 
sun ; crowded with the great, the rich, the gay, the 
happy and the fair ; glittering with cloth of gold and 
silver, lace, embroidery, and precious stones. While 
these exulting sons and daughters of felicity tread this 
round of pleasure, or regale in different parties, and 
separate lodges, with fine imperial tea and other 
delicious refreshments, their ears are entertained with 
the most ravishing delights of music, both instru- 
mental and vocal." 

§ 3. The entertainments and the company. 

The usual charge for admission was half a crown,^ 
which always included the * regale ' of tea, coflFee and 
bread and butter. Foote called Ranelagh the Bread 
and Butter Manufactory, and, except on ball nights, no 
other refreshments seem to have been procurable. 

^ Boswell, Life^ chap. xxvi. p. 236, ed. Croker. 

* Life^ 1 777-1 778, chap. Ixi. p. 561, ed. Croker. 

' In the early days, sometimes one shilling and two shillings, 
including the breakfast and the morning concert. On special 
nights when fireworks were displayed, the price was raised to three 
shillings or more. Tickets costing from half a guinea to two 
guineas were issued for the masquerades. 


The place was usually open on three days in the 
week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.^ The 
regular season for the evening concerts and garden- 
promenade began at Easter, but the Rotunda was often 
open in February, or earlier, for the dances. In the 
early days of Ranelagh the public breakfastings and the 
morning concerts at twelve were a constant feature. 
About 1754 the proprietors of Ranelagh were refused 
a license for music, and the breakfasting took place 
that year without concerts : these breakfasts and morn- 
ing concerts do not appear to hgve been subsequently 

The evening concerts (from May 1742, onwards) 
generally began at 6.30 or 7. Between the Acts the 
company walked in the gardens to the music of horns 
and clarinets, and a garden-orchestra was erected about 
1764. The gardens were illuminated, but fireworks 
did not become a prominent feature till about 1767. 

The gardens tliemselves were somewhat formally laid 
out. There were several gravel walks, shaded by elms 
and yews ; a flower-garden, and ** a beautiful octagon 
grass plat." The principal walk led from the south 
end of Ranelagh House to the bottom of the gardens, 
where there was a circular Temple of Pan. At night 
the walks were prettily lit with lamps attached to 
the trees. There was also a canal with a Temple 
indifferently described as the Chinese House and the 
Venetian Temple. 

In its earliest as well as in its latest days masquerades 
attracted many to the Rotunda and the gardens, but 
the chief diversion was the promenade in the Rotunda. 
A guide-book of 1793 states that ** walking round the 
Rotundo " was " one of the pleasures of the place." 
We hear much at all periods of '* the circular labour " 

^ Sometimes it was advertised as open "every evening." People 
were allowed to walk in the gardens and view the Rotunda during 
the daytime for one shilling. 



of the company and " the ring of folly." ^ Matthew 
Bramble found one half of the company " following 
one another's tails in an eternal circle like asses in an 
olive mill while the other half are drinking hot water 
under the denomination of tea.'* Mr. Bramble exacted 
much from places of amusement, but it is to be sus- 
pected from other testimonies that there was an 
atmosphere of duliiess, a note of ennui, about the 
ordinary diversions of this fashionable rendezvous. 
** There's your famous Ranelagh (says * Evelina') that 
you make such a fuss about ; why what a dull place is 
that ! " A Frenchman describing Ranelagh about 1800 
— foreigners were always expected to visit it — calls it 
"le plus insipide lieu d' amusement que Ton ait pu 
imaginer," and even hints at Dante's Purgatory. An- 
other Frenchman writing much earlier, circ. 1749, 
briefly comments "on s'ennuie avec de la mauvaise 
musique, du the et du beurre." 

Samuel Rogers (Talkie Talk)^ who must have known 
Ranelagh from about 1786 till its close, was Struck by 
the solemnity of the whole thing : " all was so orderly 
and still that you could hear the whishing sound of the 
ladies' trains as the immense assemblv walked round 
and round the room." An " affray " of the kind 
familiar at Vauxhall and not infrequent at Marylebone 
was practically unknown at Ranelagh. On May 6th, 
1752, Dr. John Hill was caned in the Rotunda by an 
angry gentleman, and the newspapers and caricaturists 
were momentarily excited, chiefly because Hill's injuries 
were supposed to be a sham. One almost welcomes a 
scene at Ranelagh. On the 12th of May, 1764, four 
footmen were charged before Sir John Fielding with 
riotous behaviour at Ranel^h House, " hissing several 
of the nobility, relative to their not giving or suff^ering 
vails to be taken, pelting several gentlemen with brick- 
bats and breaking the windows." ^ 

^ "Harlequin in Ranelagh," London Magaziney May 1774. 
^ Cp. Gent. Mag. 1764, p. 247. 


Throughout its career of more than a hundred and 
11/i>^ - r<;o^ sixty years, Ranelagh fairly maintained its position as a 

fashionable resort, but at all periods the company was 
a good deal mixed. Philomides, " a gentleman of 
sprightly wit, and very solid judgment," has described ^ 
the frequenters of the place four or five years after it 
was first opened. My Lord (he says) was sure to meet 
his tailor there, and Statira would see her toyman 
" cursing himself for letting this Statira have a service 
of very fine Dresden china, which she assured him her 
Lord would pay for immediately." The ubiquitous 
Templar was easily recognised — a pert young fellow in 
a fustian frock, and a broad-brimmed hat " in an affected 
impudent cock." There was an Oxford scholar, a 
political pamphleteer and a spruce military spark 
smelling of lavender water. A coxcomb just returned 
from his travels was more absurd. He had set up as 
virtuoso, and brought home a headless Helen and a 
genuine * Otho ' coined at Rome two years ago. He 
might now be heard talking Italian in a loud voice and 
" pronouncing the word Gothic fifty times an hour." 

In 1760 a fashionable lady complains that there were 
too many tradesmen's wives at Ranel^h. But compared 
with Vauxhall it was fashionable, at least according to a 
lady's maid in "High Life Below Stairs" (circ. 1759, 
Act I. sc. 2) : — 

Lady Charlotte's Maid : Well, I say it again, I love 

Lady Bab's Maid: Oh, my stars ! Why, there is 
nobody there but filthy citizens — Rune low for my 

From about 1774 it was considered fashionable to 
arrive at the Rotunda about 1 1 p.m., one hour after the 
concert was over. In 1777, according to Walpole, the 
company did not arrive till twelve. ** The people of the 
true ton," says the satirical "Harlequin in Ranelagh," ^ 

^ Ranelagh House: a satire, ^IM* 
* London Magaziie, 1774. 


(1774), " come in about eleven, stare about them for 
half an hour, laugh at the other fools who are drenching 
and scalding themselves with coffee and tea .... 
despise all they have seen, and then they trail home 
again to sup." The citizens, on the other hand, came 
to stare at the great, at the Duke of Gloucester or Lady 
Almeria Carpenter, or whoever it might be. They came 
to see how the great folks were dressed, how they walked 
and how they talked. Some worthy men were com- 
pelled by their wives to wear swords, and in the circling 
promenade found it hard " to adjust the spit to the 
humour of those behind and before " them. The 
* Harlequin ' enlarges on some unpleasant characters 

who haunted Ranelagh, Baron H g (for instance), 

who trails about like a wounded worm, and Lord 

C y who " runs his nose under every bonnet." It 

is not to be denied that Ranelagh, though on the whole 
decorous, had a tolerable reputation as a place of assigna- 

§4. Annals of Ranelagh 1742-1769. 

From this general sketch of Ranelagh and its fre- 
quenters, we may pass on to some details of its amuse- 
ments year by year. 

The principal performer at the concerts in the earliest 
days (1742 — circ. 1760) was the well-known actor and 
vocalist Beard, who was considered by Dibdin to be, 
" taken altogether, the best English singer." Giulia 
Frasi, young and interesting, with her " sweet clear 
voice," was heard in 175 1 and 1752. Michael Festing 
at first led the band, and was succeeded (about 1752) 
by Abram Brown, a performer who (according to 
Burney) had "a clear, sprightly and loud tone, with a 
strong hand," but who was deficient in musical know- 
ledge and feeling. Parry, the Welsh harper (1746), 



and Caporale, the violoncello player, were also among 
the earlier performers.^ 

At first, choruses from oratorios (this was still the 
case in 1763) were a feature of the concerts, but the 
performances soon came to differ little from those of 
Vauxhall and Marylebone. In 1754 an entertainment 
of recitation, with a procession, was given under the 
name of Comus's Court. In 1757 " Acis and Galatea " 
was performed for the benefit of the Marine Society. 
On 10 June, 1763 ^Bonnell Thornton's * Burlesque Ode 
on St. Cecilia's Day ' was performed, " adapted (by 
Burney) to the antient British music, viz. : the salt-box, 
the Jew's-harp, the marrow-bones and cleavers, the 
hum-strum or hurdy-gurdy, etc., etc." The performers 
sang the recitative, airs and choruses in masquerade 
dresses, and the salt-box song was especially successful. 
The fun must have been rather forced, though Johnson, 
who read the Ode when printed, "praised its humour," 
seemed much diverted with it, and repeated the lines : — 

In strains more exalted the salt-box shall join, 
And clattering and battering and clapping combine ; 
With a rap and a tap while the hollow side sounds, 
Up and down leaps the flap, and with rattling rebounds. 

^ Other early vocalists were : — Mrs. Storer (175 1) ; Miss Young 
(1755) ; Miss Formantel (Ten favourite songs sung by Miss Formantel 
at Ranelagh^ music by Mr. Oswald, published July 1758). 

^ According to a statement of Burney's (note in Croker's ed. of 
Boswell's Johnsony^. 143, anno "1763"), the salt-box song was 
sung by Beard accompanied on that instrument by Brent, the 
fencing master, while Skeggs played on the broomstick as bassoon. 
Croker assigns the composition, and apparently the first perform- 
ance, of the Ode to 1 769, and states that the first edition (which 
he himself had seen) of it bears the date 1749, ^ ^^^^ which he 
considered to be a misprint for 1769. But the date 1769 is, as 
some later writers have seen, clearly erroneous, and the composi- 
tion — and possibly the Jirst performance at Ranelagh — must be 
assigned to 1759. ^^^ published edition of the Ode, in the British 
Museum, is dated (May) 1763, and the Ode was undoubtedly 
performed at Ranelagh on 10 June of that year (1763). (Sec 
Annual Register ; Lloyd* s Evening Posty 8-16 June, 1763.) 


In 1762--1764 the principal singer was the Italian 
Tenducci,^ whose voice, according to Miss Lydia 
Melford, was " neither man's nor woman's ; but it is 
more melodious than either, and it warbled so divinely, 
that while I listened I really thought myself in 

On 29 June, 1764, Mozart, then eight years old, 
performed on the harpsichord and organ several of his 
own compositions. On 12 May, 1767,^ Catches and 
Glees were rendered with instrumental parts by Arne, 
an addition considered necessary on account of the size 
of the Rotunda. This was stated to be the first public 
performance of the kind in England. 

In 1769 Dibdin was a singer of ballads, and on 12 
May of this year there was a Jubilee Ridotto, an event 
at which we may pause to recall some of the earlier 
masquerades and balls which, from time to time, en- 
livened the routine of Ranelagh. 

The most famous of these entertainments was the 
" Grand Jubilee Masquerade, in the Venetian taste," 
that took place on Wednesday, 26 April, 1749, to 
celebrate the proclamation of the peace of Aix-la- 
Chapelle. The Masquerade (says Horace Walpole^) 
" had nothing Venetian in it, but was by far the best 
understood and prettiest spectacle I ever saw ; nothing 
m a fairy tale ever surpassed it. . . . It began at three 
o'clock ; at about five, people of fashion began to go ; 
when you entered, you found the whole garden filled 
with masks and spread with tents, which remained all 

^ Cp. Six new English songs composed by Ferdinando Tenducci^ and 
to be sung by him at Ranelagh. Sold by the author at his lodging 
in the Great Piazza, Covent Garden, 1763 (W. Coll.). 

Other performers at this period were : — 1762 : Champness, 
Hudson, Miss Thomas, Miss Brent. 1763 : Dearie, Miss Wright, 
Miss Brent. 1765 (?) : the elder Fawcett. 

2 Gent. Mag. 1767, p. 277. 

8 Walpole's LetterSy ed. Cunningham, ii. 1 50, ff. (Walpole to 
Mann, 3 May, 1749). 


night very commodely. In one quarter was a May- 
pole dressed with garlands, and people dancing round 
it to a tabor and pipe, and rustic music, all masked, as 
were all the various bands of music that were disposed 
in different parts of the garden ; some like huntsmen 
with French-horns, some like peasants, and a troop of 
harlequins and scaramouches in the little open temple 
on the mount. On the canal was a sort of gondola, 
adorned with flags and streamers, and filled with music, 
rowing about. All round the outside of the amphi- 
theatre were shops, filled with Dresden china, Japan, 
&c., and all the shopkeepers in mask. The amphitheatre 
was illuminated, and in the middle was a circular bower, 
composed of all kinds of firs in tubs, from twenty to 
thirty feet high ; under them, orange trees, with small 
lamps in each orange, and below them all sorts of the 
finest auriculas in pots ; and festoons of natural flowers 
hanging from tree to tree. Between the arches, too, 
were firs, and smaller ones in the balconies above. There 
were booths for tea and wine, gaming-tables, and dancing, 
and about two thousand persons. In short, it pleased 
me more than the finest thing I ever saw." 

Later masquerades, though attended by fashionable 
people, were less select, as appears, for example, from an 
advertisement which a gentleman inserted in the Public 
Advertiser of 8 March, 1753 ^ : — "This is to inform 
the Lady that was in a wite mask, red Beard and Ey's at 
the last Masquereade but one, in a brown and silver flora 
Pethecoat and head-dress, remarkable gentle, very finely 
maid, who lost her company and walked with several 
masks, perticuler with one, who in raptorous beared 
her declare a dislike to gameing and the intention of 
Maskquerdes on which he asked, wathere single 

1 It IS to be feared that this advertisement was an invention of 
the editor's, but it would have had little point for his readers had 
it not been actually based on familiar incidents of the Ranelagh 

P 2 


or ingaged, and under whos care that Night ? the lady 
pointing to a tall gentleman in black and a bag wigg, 
said his, my Brother." His intentions were honourable, 
and he begged to see her face. In reply, " she repetted 
Part out of the Orphin * Trust not a man ' ; said he had 
taken notice enough of her to know her again ; bid him 
look sharp at the next Makquered, at wich and all 
other Places he as been dispionted of seeing her ; he 
therefore hops (if not ingaged) will get her Brother or 
some Friend to call on him " as he feels assured he could 
be happy for life with her. 

On the occasion of the Jubilee Ridotto on 1 2 May, 
1769, the gardens and the Chinese House were illumi- 
nated. " A large sea-horse stuck full of small lamps 
floated on the Canal, and had a very agreeable aspect.'* 
A favourite Ranelagh *serenata,' Dibdin's *Ephesian 
Matron,' was performed at ten, and the Rotunda and 
gardens were gradually filled by a brilliant company. 
The Dukes of York and Cumberland were there, and 
one of the prettiest characters was " a rural nymph in 
rose-coloured sattin, trimmed with silver." The tickets, 
which cost a guinea, included the supper. Unfortu- 
nately, the wine and sweetmeats were not immediately 
forthcoming, and some gentlemen broke open the wine 
cellar and helped themselves. Sir Thomas Robinson, 
to make things pleasant, thereupon sent a general in- 
vitation to the company to sup with him. The dancing 
began at twelve, and was continued till four, a com- 
paratively early hour at Ranelagh masquerades. 

§ 5. Later history of Ranelagh^ 1 770-1 805. 

A " Gentleman in Town," writing in 'The Town and 
Country Magazine for April 1770 (p. 1 9 5 ) to his friend 
in the country, enlarges on the fashionable assemblages 
to be then seen at Ranelagh three times a week. And we 
may note that about this time the tradesmen advertised 


their silver Ranelagh silks and Ranelagh waistcoats in 
gold, silver and colours. The sweet voice of "the 
lovely Mrs. Baddeley" was then to be heard in the 
Rotunda, and she sang (in the autumn, 1770) in "The 
Recruiting Sergeant," together with Mrs. Thompson, 
Dibdin, and Bannister.^ 

The garden concerts, and the fireworks, and trans- 
parent pictures in a building in the grounds had by this 
time become prominent features of the place.^ 

The event of 1775 was the Ranelagh Regatta and 
Ball,^ which took place on June 23rd. Early in the 
afternoon of that day the whole river from London 
Bridge to Millbank was covered with pleasure boats, 
and scaffold erections were to be seen on the banks, and 
even on the top of Westminster Hall. Gambling tables 
lined the approaches to Westminster Bridge : men went 
about selling indifferent liquor. Regatta songs and Re- 
gatta cards. The river banks now resembled a great 
fair, and the Thames itself a floating town. Wild cal- 
culations fixed the number of the spectators at 200,000, 
or " at least " three millions. At 7.30 a cannon sig- 
nalled the start of the racing-boats, and about 8.30, when 
the prizes had been awarded, the whole procession began 
to move " in a picturesque irregularity towards Rane- 
lagh." The Directors' barge, with its band playing and 
gold Regatta ensign flying, led the way, and the 
fortunate persons who had ball-tickets landed at Rane- 
lagh Stairs at nine o'clock. 

Dancing took place in the Temple of Neptune, a 
temporary octagon erection in the grounds. Mrs. 
Cornelys had been given seven hundred guineas (it is 

^ Mrs. Baddeley also sang there in 1772. 

2 An impetus to the fireworks seems to have been first given by 
Angelo, father of Henry Angelo, who directed the displays in 1766. 
In 177 1 the fireworkers were Clitherow and Caillot. 

^ The admission ticket for the Regatta Ball (Lake scene) was 
prepared by Cipriani and Bartolozzi. 


sMd) to supply the supper, and it is lamentable to re- 
flect that the supper was " indifFerent, and the wine 
very scarce." However, there was a great company : the 
Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Northumberland, 
Lord North, the Duchess of Devonshire, Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, Garrick, Colman, Samuel Foote. A band 

xxJUJrj/s JKscvzjtiv 

of two hundred and forty instrumentalists, under Giar- 
dini, performed in the Rotunda, and there was singing 
by Vernon and Reinhold, including the cheering 
ballad :— 

Ye lords and ye ladies who form this gay throng. 

Be silent a moment, attend to our song. 

And while you suspend your fantastical round, 

Come, bless your sweet scars that you're none of you drowned. 


From this time (1775) till about 1790 the concerts 
continued as usual, but Ranelagh seems during the 
period to have suffered a certain eclipse. In May 1788 
the shares are said to have fallen from their par value 
(^1,000) to ;C900. Ranelagh was " voted a bore with 
the fashionable circles," and its distance from town 
began to be considered an obstacle. 

About 1 79 1, however, its fortunes revived, and 
numerous masquerades, sometimes lasting . till six or 
eight in the morning, and firework displays (chiefly 
by Caillot and by Rossi and Tessier) remained a feature 
of Ranelagh till its close. 

Henry Angelo (^Reminiscences^ ii. p. 3 /.), speaking 
of its later days, declares that it was frequented by " the 
elite of fashion." The gentlemen wore powder, frills 
and ruffles, and had gold-headed canes. " Cropped 
heads, trousers or shoe-strings" were not to be seen 
there. The men used to buy in the ante-room myrtles, 
hyacinths and roses, not to wear themselves, but for 
presentation to the ladies. 

A masquerade of 1792 (14 February) was attended 
by Mrs. Jordan, " supported " (as the newspapers said) 
" between the friendly arms of the Prince of Wales and 
the Duke of Clarence." Mr. Petit was good as a man 
walking in his sleep with a candle, and amid the usual 
crowd of harlequins, sailors and flower-girls, " a monkey 
of the largest size was oflfensively dexterous." ^ At 
another masquerade this year (16 May) a Guy Faux, 
a *Bath Maccarony,' an African Princess, and three or 
four Romps attracted attention. 

On May 7th, 1792, the exhibition called Mount 
Etna was introduced and remained popular at Ranelagh 
for several years. A special building with a scene 
designed by G. Marinari, * painter to the Opera,' was 
prepared for it in the gardens. The idea was evidently 
borrowed from Torre's Forge of Vulcan, the great 

1 Evening Maily Feb. 15-17, 1792. 


attraction at the Marylebone Gardens some twenty 
years earlier. The scene represented Mount Etna and 
the Cavern of Vulcan with the * Cyclops ' forging the 
armour of Mars, '* as described (the advertisements add) 
in the Aeneid of Virgil." To an accompaniment of 
music " compiled from Gluck, Haydn, Giardini, 
and Handel," we see the * Cyclops ' going to work. 
" The smoke thickens, the crater on the top of Etna 
vomits forth flames, and the lava rolls dreadful along 
the side of the mountain. This continues with increas- 
ing violence till there is a prodigious eruption, which 
finishes with a tremendous explosion." 

On June 27th, 1793, the Chevalier D'Eon fenced in 
the Rotunda with M. Sainville, and received the con- 
gratulations of the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Fitz- 

In 1797 (April) there was an enjoyable masquerade, 
at which there reigned (we are told) "good nature 
and pleasant hilarity, without riot" : all this, in spite 
of a crowd of imaginary Dutch skippers, lunatics, 
coachmen, quack doctors and watercress girls. 

At a concert in 1798 (June) Incledon and Madame 
Mara sang. In 1799 a January masquerade was 
diversified by a drawing for fifty twelfth cakes as prizes 
for the masks. 

The Directors now began to offer prizes for regattas 
and volunteer shooting-matches, and a few splendid 
entertainments mark the closing years of Ranelagh. 

On 2 June, 1802, Boodle's Club gave an elegant 
dance at which the ladies "wore white and silver, 
ornamented with laurel " — and diamonds, and amused 
themselves by drawing prizes of trinkets in a Lottery 

1 Newspaper cutting [W. Coll.] assigned to 28 June (referring 
to 27 June), 1793. Mr. Vizetelly {Chevalier D^Eon^ p. 322) states 
that D'Eon fenced at Ranelagh in 1794. The managers of Ranelagh 
had given the Chevalier, who was then in money difficulties, a 
benefit night in 1791 (24 June). 


Booth. On the 28 June (1802) the Picnic Society gave 
an " afternoon breakfast," and at five o'clock Garnerin, 
the French aeronaut, and Captain Sowden ascended in a 
balloon from the gardens.^ 

On- 23 September (1802) Mr. Thomas Todd 
descended into a reservoir of water twenty-five feet 
deep, prepared for him in the gardens. His awkward 
diving-tub, and his dress of leather and metal excited 
the laughter of spectators born too early to know the 
diver of the Polytechnic. Nor is this praiseworthy 
experiment to be counted among the splendid entertain- 
ments of Ranelagh, for Mr. Todd was " misfitted by 
his coppersmith," forgot to take down his lamp, and 
did not remain under water more than five minutes. ^ 

On I June, 1803, a ball in commemoration of the 
Installation of the Knights of the Bath took place and 
proved one of the finest of the entertainments. Yet 
these were only * struggles for happiness,' and attempts 
to galvanise a nearly lifeless Ranelagh. The unending 
promenade, with its sentimental songs and elegant 
regale of tea and coflfee, had ceased to attract, and the 
lamp-hung trees, the Chinese House and the music on 
the Canal had lost their ancient charm. On 8 July, 
1 803, the Rotunda of Ranelagh was opened for the last 
time as a place of amusement. 

On 30 September, 1805, the proprietors gave direc- 
tions for the demolition of Ranelagh House and the 
Rotunda ; the furniture was sold by auction shortly 
afterwards, and the buildings were removed. The organ 
was bought for Tetbury Church, Gloucestershire, where 
it remained till 1 863, when it was purchased by a builder. 

The Ranelagh grounds had extended from the old 
Burial Ground (east of Chelsea Hospital) to the river- 

^ Another great fete of this period (June 1802 or 1803?) was 
the Ball given by the Spanish Ambassador, 

2 The European Magazine^ October 1 802, and several newspapers 
of the time. 


ma.rshes on the south, and the Chelsea Bridge Road 
now crosses their eastern boundary. When the build- 
ings were removed the grounds were, by degrees, pur- 
chased of the shareholders by General Richard R. 
Wilford to add to his property adjoining. A poet of 
the Gentleman's Magazine in June 1807 laments the 
Fall of Ranelagh, and the site already overgrown with 
weeds. The foundation walls of the Rotunda and 
the arches ot some of the cellars could, however, 
be traced as late as 18 13, and part of the site was a 
favourite playground for Chelsea children. By 1 826, the 
Ranelagh grounds had become by purchase the property 
of Chelsea Hospital and were parcelled out into allot- 
ments. The ground is, at the present time, once more a 
* Ranelagh Garden,' in which the public are admitted, 
as the old advertisements would say, " to walk gratis." 

All traces of Ranelagh have been thus obliterated, 
and a London historian (Jesse, London^ iii, 420) on 
visiting the site in 1871, could find as its memorial 
only a single avenue of trees with one or two of the old 
lamp-irons — the * firetrees ' of the early advertisements 
— still attached. 

[From the numerous authorities, the following maybe selected : — 
Gent, Mag, 1742, 418, fF. ; Ranelagh House: a Satire in pros e^ 
London, 1747 (W. Coll.) ; Dodsley's London^ 1761 ; Sir John 
Fielding's Brief Description of London^ ijyS ; Burney's Hist, 0/ 
Musicj iv. 668, ff. ; Kearsley's Strangers* Guide (1793 ?) ; Lysons's 
Environs, Supplement, p. 120 ; Faulkner's Che/sea, ii. 299, ff. ; 
Blanchard in The Era Almanack, 1870 ; Grove's Diet, of Music, art. 
" Ranelagh House," by W. H. Husk ; L'Estrangc's Village of 
Palaces, ii. 296 ; Walford, v. ^6, ff. ; Austin Dobson's Eighteenth 
Century Vignettes, 2nd ser. p. 263, ff. ; collections relating to 
Ranelagh in British Museum and Guildhall libraries, and a large 
series of cuttings from newspapers, magazines, &c., W. Coll.] 


A good representative series of the principal early views of 
Ranelagh is in the Crace Collection {Catal, p. 164 ; pp. 312-314). 
The site is well marked in Horwood's Plan A, 1794. 



Strombolo House ^ was a minor place of entertain- 
ment, dating from 1762, or earlier, with tea-gardens 
and "a fine fountain*' 2 attached to it. The gardens ^ are 
said to have been most frequented about 1788. They 
were open chiefly in the afternoons of week-days and 
Sundays for tea-drinking during the summer season. 
The house, opposite the famous Royal Bun House, 
Chelsea, in Jew's Row (now Pimlico Road), was still 
standing in 1829, when Faulkner's Chelsea (second 
edition) was published, but it appears to have been 
disused as a place of amusement long before that date. 

The ground Was afterwards occupied by the Orange 
Tavern and tea-gardens to which was attached the Orange 
Theatre, a small private playhouse, where local geniuses 
performed (1831-32). St. Barnabas Church, Pimlico, 
built 1 848-1 850, standing oflf'the south side of Pimlico 
Road (entrance in Church Street) is now nearly on the 

[0*Keefe's Recollections ^ i. p. 88 ; Faulkner's Chelsea^ ii. p. 357 ; 
Davis's Knightsbridge (1859), p. 263 ; Wheatley's London P. and P, 
s.v. "Strombello " ; Timbs's Club Life (1866), ii. p. 260.] 

^ The name was spelt Strumbels, Strombels and Strumbello. 
Davis {Knightsbridge) calls it Stromboli House. 

2 O'Keefe's Recollections, 

• Davis's Knightsbridge. Strumbclo is marked in the map of 
1789 in Fores's Neto Guide, 


In the grounds attached to the Star and Garter 
Tavern in the Five Fields between Chelsea and Pimlico,^ 
displays of fireworks and horsemanship took place in 
1762 (July-September) to celebrate the birth of the 
Prince of Wales, and the visit of the chiefs of the 
Cherokee Indians^ who were duly exploited by the pro- 
prietor. Carlo Genovini, an Italian artificer, exhibited 
stars and moving suns, a guilloche of a varied coloured 
rose, reprises of water cascades and many pyrotechnic 
devices, together with the Temple of Liberty, a machine 
thirty-two feet long and forty high "painted in a 
theatrical manner" with Britannia triumphant over 
the portico. The fireworks began at eight or nine and 
the tickets were usually half-a-crown. 

On other evenings at seven o'clock Thomas Johnson, 
the well-known equestrian, performed feats with two 
and three horses similar to those undertaken by him at 
the Three Hats, Islington. The admission was one 
shilling. The proprietor of the Star and Garter also 
kept the neighbouring Dwarf's Tavern, with Coan, " the 

1 The Star and Garter was at the end of Five Fields Row. In 
Faulkner's time {Chelsea^ ii. p. 354), about 1829, the house, no 
longer used as a tavern, was Mr. Homden's Academy. 

* On the Cherokee Chiefs, see Forster's Goldsmith bk. iii. 
chap. vi. (ann. 1762). 


jovial Pigmy," as Major Domo,^ and to this place 
visitors were invited to adjourn after the fireworks, 
there to sup on " a most excellent ham, some collared 
eels, potted beef, etc., with plenty of sound old bright 
wine and punch like nectar.'* ^ 

[Faulkner's Chelsea^ ii. 354-356, where further details of the 
fireworks and horsemanship may be found ; Davis's Knights bridge^ 
p. 264.] 

^ John Coan, "the unparalleled Norfolk Dwarf," died there 
16 March 1764 {Daily Advertiser^ 17 March, 1764). 

2 The Dwarf's Tavern according to Faulkner {Chelsea^ ii. 354), 
was situated in Chelsea Fields "on the spot which was afterwards 
called Spring Gardens, between Ebury Street and Belgrave Ter- 
race," and which was subsequently (a few years before 1829) 
occupied by Ackerman's Waterproof Cloth Manufactory. This 
Spring Garden is the place usually marked in the maps (r.^., Hor- 
wood's Plan, B. 1795) as the New Spring Gardens^ Chelsea^ and was 
a place of public entertainment, as may be inferred from a news- 
paper advertisement of January 1792 : "J. Louis, of New Spring 
Gardens, Chelsea, having fitted up likewise the above house (/>. 
York Coffee House) in Norris Street, Haymarket, for the winter, 
serves dinners and suppers there." 

This Spring Garden was distinct from the Spring Gardens^ 
Knights bridge^ a place frequented by Pepys, and perhaps identical 
with the World's End, Knightsbridge (see Davis's Knights bridge^ 
p. 149, ff.). The Knightsbridge Spring Gardens (which stood 
about where William Street joins Lowndes Square) ceased to be 
a place of entertainment before 1773, in which year the house 
belonging to them was occupied by Dr. C. Kelly, who had his 
anatomical museum there. Walford (v. 18) engraves from a 
drawing in the Crace Collection a view of the " Spring Gardens," 
which he assigns to the Knightsbridge Spring Gardens, but it is 
possibly a representation of the Chelsea Spring Gardens. 


St. George's Row, near Ebury Bridge, formerly 
called The Wooden Bridge or Jenny's Whim Bridge, 
marks the site of Jenny's Whim, a tavern and pleasure- 
garden popular in the last century. 

Jenny's Whim is said to have been established as a 
place of amusement by a firework artificer and theatrical 
machinist, in the reign of George II. About 1750 it 
appears to have been a good deal frequented during the 
day-time, and people of rank and fashion occasionally 
visited it. Walpole once encountered Lord Granby 
'* arrived very drunk from Jenny's Whim," where he 
" had dined with Lady Fanny [Seymour] and left her 
and eight other women and four other men playing at 

A writer in The Connoisseur comparing it in 1755 
with Ranelagh and Vauxhall, describes it, however, as a 
resort of " the lower sort of people," rather than of the 

The gardens possessed, in addition to the usual 
bowers, alcoves and prim flower-beds, a bowling-green, 
a grotto, a cock-pit and a ducking pond. In the centre 
was a large fish pond. Mechanical devices, similar to 
those at New Georgia, Hampstead, attracted many 
visitors. A Harlequin, a Mother Shipton, or some 
terrific monster, started up in the recesses of the garden 
when an unsuspected spring was trodden upon, and 


huge fish and mermaids rose at intervals from the water 
of the pond. 

The admission about 1755 appears to have been 

Before the close of the eighteenth century, the popu- 
larity of the place had declined, though it was still 
frequented as a summer tea-garden, and by 1804 Jenny's 
Whim had become a mere public-house. The house, a 
red brick building with lattice work, containing a large 
room originally used for breakfasting parties, continued 
in existence for many years, and was not pulled down 
till 1865. 

[Walford, v. 45, fF. ; Walpole's Letters, ii. 212, 23 June, 1750 ; 
The Connoisseur, No. 68, 15 May, 1755 ; Low Life, 1764 ; Davis's 
Knights bridge, 253, fF. ; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. viii. 166 ; 
Angelo's Picnic (1834), ^-v.] 


1. The north front of Jenny's Whim Bridge and the Old Public 
House at the foot of the Bridge, water colour drawing, 1761. 
Grace, Cat. p. 311, No. 58. 

2. "A west view of Chelsea Bridge" (showing Jenny's Whim). 
Boreman pinx. Lodge sculp. (1761), W. Coll. ; Crace, Cat, p. 311, 
No. 59 (cp. Walford, v. 43). 


Cromwell's Gardens consisted of grounds imme- 
diately adjoining (and perhaps at one time belonging to) 
Hale House, Brompton, a mansion popularly known as 
Cromwell House from a tradition, seemingly unfounded, 
that the Protector or his family had once resided there. 
Some of the entrance tickets of Cromwell's Gardens 
consisted of rude imitations of Oliver's pattern-shillings, 
and had his effigy on the obverse. 

The Gardens were in existence at least as early as 
1762,^ and in 1776 they are described as frequented by 
fashionable gentlemen of Kensington and the West End, 
and by various ladies who were apparently not always 
of irreproachable character. Brompton was then and 
long afterwards in the midst of gardens and nurseries, 
and was noted for its salubrious air. Cromwell's 
Gardens were within a pleasant rural walk from the 
Park, Chelsea and Knightsbridge. The grounds were 
neatly kept : there were " agreeable " arbours for drink- 
ing tea and coffee, and in one part of the garden trees, 
curiously cut, surrounded an elevated grass plat. Their 
retired situation rendered them (in the opinion of the 

^ 0*Keefe's Recollections^ vol. i. p. 88 : "1762. At Cromwell 
House, Brompton, once the seat of Oliver, was also a tea-garden 


** Sunday Rambler") '*well adapted for gallantry and 

Music of some kind seems to have been provided, 
and at one time equestrian performances in the open air 
were exhibited by Charles Hughes, the well-known 
rider, who in 1782 founded with Dibdin the Royal 
Circus, afterwards the Surrey Theatre. The admission 
was sixpence,^ and the gardens were open at least as late 
as nine at night.^ 

In 178 1 (or 1780) the gardens were in the hands of 
Mr. R. Hiem, a German florist, who grew his cherries, 
strawberries, and flowers there. About that time he 
changed the name to Florida Gardens,^ erected a great 

^ The price appears on the (undated) pewter and brass admission 
tickets to Cromwell's Gardens, The British Museum has four 
specimens in pewter, with Cromwell's head ; and one of the brass 

2 The Sunday Rambler visits the gardens between 7.30 and 
9 p.m. 

3 I follow the Modern Sabbath^ ed. 1797, in stating that Crom- 
well's Gardens were identical with the Florida Gardens. In the 
second edition of the Sunday Ramble (1776) Cromwell's Gardens at 
Brompton arc described under that name, and in the 1797 ed. {^A 
Modern Sabbath) almost the same description is repeated, and it is 
expressly stated that the name of the place had been changed from 
Cromwell's to Florida Gardens, On the other hand, Faulkner 
describes the Florida Gardens as having been originally a nursery 
garden kept by"Hyam" (he is called Hiera in the advertisements) 
and converted by him (for the first time, it is implied) into a place 
of public amusement. Faulkner after describing Hale House, men- 
tions Cromwell's Gardens as a separate place of amusement earlier 
than the Florida Gardens, The contemporary authority of the 
Modern Sabbath seems, however, preferable ; especially as Faulkner 
does not appear to be able to state the precise site of Cromwell's 
Gardens. A further complication may perhaps be thought to be 
introduced by the passage in O'Keefe (cited in Note i) where 
Cromwell's Gardens are described as " at Cromwell House " (/>. 
Hale House). But the inhabitants of Cromwell House from 1754 
to 1794, or later, are well known to have been people of substance, 
and the gardens proper of Hale House could hardly have been 
employed as a tea-garden. The Florida Gardens (afterwards occu- 
pied by Canning's Gloucester Lodge) were (as stated above) 


room for dining in the centre of the gardens, and 
opened the place to the public at a charge of sixpence. 
A bowling-green was formed and a band (s^d to be 
subscribed for by the nobility and gentry) played twice 
a week during the summer. An air-balloon and fire- 
works were announced for 10 September, 1784. It 
was a pleasant place where visitors could gather flowers, 
and fruit ** fresh every hour in the day," and take the 
light refreshment of tea, coffee, and ice creams, or wine 
and cyder if they preferred it. Hiem specially recom- 
mended his Bern Veckley as " an elegant succedaneum 
for bread and butter, and eat by the Noblesse of 
Switzerland." However, like many proprietors of 
pleasure-gardens, he subsequently became bankrupt, 
between 1787 and 1797 (0- 

Maria, Duchess of Gloucester, having procured a 
lease (before September 1797) ^ of the place, built there 
a villa, at first called Maria Lodge, then Orford Lodge, 

adjacent to Hale House, and may possibly at one time have be- 
longed to its owners, and have been let out partly as a tea- 
garden and partly as a nursery. The writer of the Modern Sabbath 
in fact remarks that Cromwell's Gardens is supposed to have taken 
its name from the ground being formerly the patrimonial estate of 
the Protector who once had a palace here upon the site of which 
is a handsome seat (/>. Hale House). The change of name from 
Cromwell to Florida took place (as appears from the various editions 
of a Sunday Ramble) at some time between 1776 and 1797. I 
suggest that the change took place about 1780, because Lysons (who, 
however, does not mention Cromwell's Gardens) says that the place 
was "much puffed in the daily papers between the years 1780 and 
1790 by the name of Florida Gardens." In any case they certainly 
were advertised by Hiem as the Florida Gardens as early as 1781. 

^ The Florida Gardens are described as a place of entertainment 
in the Modern Sabbath^ published in 1797, but they were already 
in the possession of the Duchess of Gloucester in September 1797. 
Cp. a newspaper paragraph of 25 September, 1797, in "Public 
Gardens " Collection in Guildhall Library : " Florida Gardens, at 
present in the possession of the Duchess of Gloucester, were fitted 
up in an elegant manner as a place of resort by the late Mr. Wilder 
[a successor of Hiem ?] but did not answer the purpose for which 
they were intended." 

Q 2 


at which she died in 1807. Shortly after 1807 the 
premises consisting of about six acres were purchased by 
the Rt. Hon. George Canning, who changed the name 
of the house to Gloucester Lodge, and lived there for 
many years. 

The house was pulled down about 1850 and the 
ground let on building leases. Part of Courtfield Road, 
Ashburn Place, and perhaps other streets, occupy the 
site of Gloucester Lodge which stood immediately south 
of the present Cromwell Road, and west of Gloucester 
Road near the point where the Gloucester Road inter- 
sects Cromwell Road. 

[Sunday Ramble (1776) ; A Modern Sabbath (1797), chap. vii. ; 
Faulkner's Kensington (1820), pp. 438, 441 ; Lysons's Environs^ 
supplement to first ed. (181 1), p. 215 ; Wheatley, London P. and /*. 
s.v. •' Cromwell House " and " Gloucester Lodge " ; Fores's New 
Guide (1789), preface, p. vi. ; The Public Advertiser y 10 July, 1789 ; 
The Morning Herald^ 7 July, 1786 ; and newspaper cuttings in W. 


There seem to be no views of the Cromwell and Florida Gardens. 
There is a view of the garden front of Gloucester Lodge in Jerdan's 
Autobiography (1852), vol. ii. frontispiece. 




The Bermondsey Spa Gardens owe such celebrity as 
they attained to the enterprise of their founder and 
proprietor, Thomas Keyse, a self-taught artist, born in 
1722, who painted skilful imitations of still life and 
exhibited pictures at the Royal Academy. About 1765 
he purchased the Waterman's Arms, a tavern in Ber- 
mondsey, together with some waste ground adjoining, 
and opened the place as a tea-garden, exhibiting there a 
collection of his own pictures. At that time, and for 
several years in the present century, Bermondsey was 
surrounded by open country. 

About 1770 a chalybeate spring was discovered in the 
grounds, and Keyse's establishment thereupon acquired 
the name of the Bermondsey Spa Gardens. Keyse was 
a cheery, ingenious landlord, remarkable among other 
things for his preparation of cherry-brandy. In 1784 
he obtained a license for music from the Surrey magis- 
trates, and spent ^^4,000 in improvements. The gar- 
dens (covering not less than four acres) were opened 
during the summer months on week-day evenings and 
Sundays, and the price of admission on week-days was a 
shilling. Each visitor was, however, given on entering 
a metal check,^ which was exchanged for refreshments 

^ These checks in copper and lead resemble the tradesmen's 
halfpenny tokens of the end of the eighteenth century, and are 
usually described as tokens : see descriptions in Sharpens Catalogue^ 


to the extent of sixpence. On special occasions the 
admission was half-a-crown or three shillings. 

In the gardens were the usual arbours and benches 
for tea-drinking. The space before the orchestra was 
about a quarter of the size of that at Vauxhall, and on 
the north-east of the garden was a lawn of about three 
acres. A row of trees leading from the entrance to the 
picture gallery was hung at night with lamps of red, 
blue, green, and white, in humble imitation of the 
Grand Walk at Vauxhall.^ 

Jonas Blewitt, one of the most distinguished organists 
of the latter half of the eighteenth century, composed 
the music of many songs for the entertainments at the 
Spa.2 The Spa poets were Mr. J. Oakman and Mr. 
Harriss. Songs of hunting, drinking, and seafaring took 
their turn with ditties full of what may be described as 
sprightly sentiment. The other music ^ consisted of bur- 
lettas, duets, and interludes, performed by vocalists of only 
local fame. In a burletta called the * Friars,' certain 
nuns who had been forced by wicked guardians to take 
the veil, make their escape with the assistance of two 
friars. These reverend men, after singing an anacreontic 
song, divide the gold which the ladies have given them 
as their reward, and the whole concludes with a chorus. 
The words of the burlettas'and songs were printed in 
little books, sold for sixpence at the bar and in the 
exhibition room.* 

p. 89 ; Atkins, p. 193. Miss Banks, in the MS. catalogue of her 
tokens (p. 210) now in the Department of Coins, British Museum, 
says respecting the leaden check : "One shilling was paid on going 
in, and this ticket given in exchange which would count for six- 
pence if the person chose liquor." 

^ Smith's Book for a Rainy Day : the description strictly applies 
to the year 1795 ; ud Modern Sabbath^ chap. ix. (1797), implies that 
the place was more refined than Smith's description would suggest. 

2 Blewitt lived in Bermondsey Square, where he died in 1805. 

» Cp. "X" in The Musical Times for October i, 1893, p. 588. 

* It is possibly worth while to record the names of some of the 
forgotten performers at Bermondsey Spa. Circ, 178 5-1 788 the 


An occasional display of fireworks took place, and 
the gardens and a cascade (introduced about 1792) 
were illuminated.^ From time to time there was a 
representation of the Siege of Gibraltar by means of 
fireworks, transparencies and bomb shells.^ The appa- 
ratus for the Siege, which was designed by Keyse 
himself, was set up in a field divided from the lawn by 
a sunk fence, the rock being fifty feet high and two 
hundred feet long. The blowing up of the floating 
batteries and the sinking of boats in * fictitious water ' 
were (we are assured) * so truly represented as to give 
a very strong idea of the real Siege.' 

A permanent attraction was the Gallery of Paintings, 
an oblong room described as being about the same size 
as W. M. Turner's studio in Queen Anne's Street. 
Here were exhibited Keyse's pictorial reproductions of 

vocalists were Mr. Birkett, Mr. C. Blewitt, Mr, Burling (or Birling), 
Mr. Harriss ; Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Byrn, Mrs. Piercy ; Miss 
Stephenson, Miss Pay, Miss Cemmitt ; Mme. Floranze. In 1792 
the leader of the band was Mr. Peile, and the vocalists were Mr, 
Burton, Mr. Milward, Mrs. Freeman, and Mrs.. Peile. 

Among the burlettas (1785-1788) were "The Quack Doctor,'' 
" The Fop," and " The Auctioneer." 

^ The fireworks in 1792 were by Rossi and Tessier, of Ranelagh. 
On 25 September, 1792, "by particular desire, the Battle of the 
Fiery Dragons, and the line comet to come from the Rock of 
Gibraltar and cause the Dragons to engage." 

* This entertainment was probably first introduced in 1786, in 
which year (2 September) the Public Advertiser announces " the 
representation of the storming of a fort which with the fortifications 
cover {sic) 3 acres of ground, the rock being fifty feet high and 200 
feet long." From about 1789 to 1792 it was advertised as a 
representation of the Siege of Gibraltar. The writer of A Modern 
5tf^^tf/^ (1797) gives further details. "On the north-east side of 
the gardens is a very fine lawn consisting of about three acres, and 
in a field parted from this lawn by a sunk fence is a building with 
turrets, resembling a fortress or castle." At each side of this 
fortress at unequal distances were two buildings, from which on 
public nights bombshells, &c., were thrown. The fire was re- 
turned and the whole exhibited the "picturesque prospect of a 

* >> 



a Butcher's Shop and a Greengrocer's Stall and many 
other paintings, including a Vesuvius, and a candle that 
looked as if it were really lighted. 

On the whole, the Bermondsey Spa appears to have 
been a respectable, though hardly fashionable, resort, 
which brought its proprietor a moderate income and 
supplied harmless, if not very exalted, means of 

It being not unnecessary to provide for the safe 
convoy of the visitors after nightfall, Keyse inserted 
the following advertisement in the newspapers : — "The 
Spa Gardens, in Grange Road, Bermondsey, one mile 
[the distance is rather understated] from London 
Bridge ; for the security of the public the road is 
lighted and watched by patroles every night, at the sole 
expense of the proprietor." The lighting and patrol- 
ling were probably somewhat mythical, but no doubt 
the announcement served to reassure the timid. 

J. T. Smith, the author of A Book for a Rainy Day^ 
has left a graphic description of a visit that he paid on 
a bright July evening of 1795. '^^^ popularity of the 
gardens was then waning, and on entering he found no 
one there but three idle waiters. A board with a 
ruffled hand within a sky-blue painted sleeve directed 
him to the staircase which led " To the Gallery of 
Paintings," and he made a solitary tour of the room. 

The rest of the visit may be described in Smith's own 
words. " Stepping back to study the picture of the 
the * Greenstall,' I ask your pardon,' said I, for I had 
trodden upon some one's toes. * Sir, it is granted,* 
replied a little, thick-set man, with a round face, arch 
look, and closely-curled wig, surmounted by a small 
three-cornered hat put very knowingly on one side, not 
unlike Hogarth's head in his print of the * Gates of 
Calais.' * You are an artist, I presume ; I noticed you 
from the end of the gallery, when you first stepped back 
to look at my best picture. I painted all the objects 


in this room from nature and still life.' * Your Green- 
grocer's Shop/ said I, * is inimitable ; the drops of 
water on that savoy appear as if they had just fallen 
from the element. Van Huysum could not have 
pencilled them with greater delicacy.' ' What do you 
think,' said he, * of my Butcher's Shop ? ' * Your pluck, 
is bleeding fresh, and your sweetbread is in a clean 
plate.' * How do you like my bull's eye ? ' * Why, 
it would be a most excellent one for Adams or Dollond 
to lecture upon. Your knuckle of veal is the finest I 
ever saw.' * It's young meat,' replied he ; * anyone 
who is a judge of meat can tell that from the blueness 
of its bone.' * What a beautiful white you have used 
on the fat of that Southdown leg ! or is it Bagshot ? ' 
' Yes,' said he, * my solitary visitor, it is Bagshot : and 
as for my white, that is the best Nottingham, which you 
or any artist can procure at Stone & Puncheon's, in 
Bishopsgate Street Within.' *Sir Joshua Reynolds,' 
continued Mr. Keyse, *paid me two visits. On the 
second, he asked me what white I had used ; and when 
I told him, he observed, * It's very extraordinary, sir, 
how it keeps so bright. I use the same.' * Not at all, 
sir, I rejoined : * the doors of this gallery are open day 
and night ; and the admission of fresh air, together 
with the great expansion of light from the sashes above, 
will never suffer the white to turn yellow. Have you 
not observed. Sir Joshua, how white the posts and rails 
on the public roads are, though they have not been re- 
painted for years ; that arises from constant air and 
bleaching.' * Come,' said Mr. Keyse, putting his hand 
upon my shoulder, ' the bell rings, not for prayers, nor 
for dinner, but for the song.' 

"As soon as we had reached the orchestra, the 
singer curtsied to us, for we were the only persons 
in the gardens. * This is sad work,' said he, * but 
the woman must sing, according to our contract.' I 
recollect that the singer was handsome, most dashingly 


dressed, immensely plumed, and villainously rouged ; 
she smiled as she sang, but it was not the bewitch- 
ing smile of Mrs. Wrighten, then applauded by 
thousands at Vauxhall Gardens. As soon as the Spa 
lady had ended her song, Keyse, after joining me in 
applause, apologised for doing so, by observing that 
as he never suffered his servants to applaud, and as 
the people in the road (whose ears were close to the 
cracks in the paling to hear the song) would make a 
bad report if they had not heard more than the clapping 
of one pair of hands, he had in this instance expressed 
his reluctant feelings. As the lady retired from the 
front of the orchestra, she, to keep herself in practice, 
curtsied to me with as much respect as she would had 
Colonel Topham been the patron of a gala-night. 
* This is too bad,' again observed Mr. Keyse, * and I am 
sure you cannot expect fireworks ! ' However, he 
politely asked me to partake of a bottle of Lisbon, 
which upon my refusing, he pressed me to accept of a 
catalogue of his pictures." 

Keyse died in his house at the Gardens on 8 February, 
1800^ and his pictures were subsequently sold by 
auction. His successors in the management of the 
Bermondsey Spa failed to make it pay,^ and it was 

closed about 1804.^ ^^^ ^^^^> ^^^ ^^ ^P^ Road, was 
afterwards built upon. 

^ Gent. Mag. 1800, pt. i. p. 284. Kcysc's house was a large 
wooden-fronted building, consisting of square divisions in imitation 
of scantlings of stone (J. T. Smith). The entrance to the 
Gardens was next to the house, beneath a semi-circular awning. 

* Hughson's London^ vol. v. (1808), p. 60. The Picture of 
London for 1802 mentions in the "Almanack of Pleasures " under 
July 17, "A silver cup run for at Spa Gardens, Bermondsey, by 
gentlemen's ponies." 

* Blanchard in Era Almanack^ 1870, p. 18 (followed by Walford). 
Brayley and Mantell {Surrey^ iii. 200, 201) say the Gardens were 
closed about 1805. Lambert in his London (iv. 140) published in 
1806, speaks of the Spa as still open, but the passage may have 
been written a year or more before the date of publication. 


[Lysons's Environs^ vol. i. (1792), p. 558 ; Smith's Book for a 
Rainy Day^ p. 135, iF. under " 1795 " ; G. W. Phillips's History and 
Antiquities of Bermondsey, 1841, pp. 84, 85; Diet, Nat, Biog, art. 
"Keyse"; Walford, vi. 128, 129; Histories of Surrey -, E. L. 
Blanchard in the Era Almanack for 1870, p. 18 ; Rendle and 
Norman's Inns of Old Southzoark^ pp. 394-396 ; A Modern Sabbath 
(1797), chap. ix. ; Kearsley's Strangers^ Guide to London (1793 ?) ; 
Fores's New Guide (1789), preface, p. vi. ; Picture of London, 1802, 
p. -370, where " the pictures of the late Mr. Keys " are mentioned ; 
" Public Gardens " Coll. in Guildhall Library, London ; Descrip- 
tion of some of the Paintings in the Perpetual Exhibition at Bermondsey 
Spay Horselydovvn (r/rr. 1785 ?) 8vo. (W, Coll.). Song-books 
(words only) of Bermondsey Spa, W. Coll.] 


A pen and ink sketch of Bermondsey Spa and a portrait of 
Keyse were in J. H. Burn's Collection, and at his sale at Puttick's 
were bought by Mr. Gardner {Notes and Queries, 6th ser. i. 506). 


These gardens were opened in 1770, and in May 
1776 music and dancing were advertised to take place 
there in the evenings. Towards the close of the 
century the Prince of Wales (George IV.) and various 
fashionable people are said to have occasionally visited 
the place. St. Helena's was a good deal frequented 
as a tea-garden during the first thirty years of the 
nineteenth century,^ chiefly by the dockyard population 
of the neighbourhood. In 1831 fireworks and other 
entertainments were introduced on the week-day even- 
ings and the place was for some years styled the 
Eastern Vauxhall. In 1832 the gardens occupied 
about five acres and a half, and in this year the per- 
formers advertised included Mr. G. R. Chapman 
''from the Adelphi and Astley's" as organist and 
musical director, Mrs. Venning, "from the Nobility's 
Concerts," Miss Wood, " the Infant Prodigy, only six 
years of age," and Miss Taylor who performed " many 
difficult airs on that delightful instrument, the Musical 
Glasses." Concerts, dancing and other amusements 
continued till about 1869 when the gardens appear 
to have been closed. 

In 1874, the gardens passed into the hands of 
Messrs. W. H. and J. R. Carter who erected an 

1 Picture of London^ cds. 1802, 1829 ; Tallis's Illustrated London, 
€d. Gaspey. 


1 •• " 

• « 

• « 

« « 


orchestra and a dancing platform, and provided music 
and fireworks for an admission of sixpence. The 
gardens had fallen into a neglected state, but the walks 
"were once more well laid out, and the old chestnut 
trees, the elms and planes were still standing. 

The gardens ceased to exist in 1881 and were 
eventually built over.^ The site was to the west of 

Deptford Lower Road, and just south of Corbett's 
Lane and the present St. Helena Road. St. Katharine's 
Church (consecrated 18 October, 188+) in Eugenia 
Road (south of St. Helena Road) stands on part of 
the site. 

[Newspaper cuttings, W. Coll. ; and see notes,] 

• In the Era Almanack, 187 1, p. 6, i( is slated that the gardens 
"disappeared in 1869." Walford, vi. 138, says they ceased 10 
exist in 1881. 



1. The entrance to the St. Helena Tavern and tea-garden, 
water-colour drawing, signed R. B. 7 June, 1839 (W. Coll.). 

2. Admission ticket in white metal. Size 1*5 inch. Nineteenth 
century, circ. 1839? (British Museum). Obverse: View of the 
entrance to the tavern and gardens (similar to No. i) ; in fore- 
ground, two posts supporting semicircular board inscribed " St. 
Helena Tavern and Tea Gardens. Dinners dress*d": in exergue, 
'* Rotherhithe." Reverse: " Refreshment to the value of sixpence *' 
within floral wreath. 

3. Lithographed poster of the St. Helena Gardens, circ, 1875, 
showing the orchestra, dancing-platform, and gardens illuminated 
at night (W. Coll.). 


Finch's Grotto Gardens situated on the western 
side of St. George's Street, Southwark, near St. George's 
Fields,^ derived their name from Thomas Finch, a 
Herald Painter, who, having inherited from a relation 
a house and garden, opened both for the entertainment 
of the public in the spring of 1760. The garden 
possessed some lofty trees, and was planted with ever- 
greens and shrubs. In the centre was a medicinal 
spring over which Finch constructed a grotto, wherein 
a fountain played over artificial embankments and 
formed " a natural and beautiful cascade." The spring 
enjoyed some local celebrity, and was recommended to 
his patients by a doctor named Townshend, who resided 
in the Haymarket and afterwards in St. George's 
Fields. In our own time Dr. Rendle has described 
the water as "merely the filtered soakage of a super- 
saturated soil," which could be obtained almost any- 
where in Southwark. 

^ " The principal site of Finch's Grotto Gardens appears to 
have been a triangular piece of ground forming the western side of 
St. George's Street, Southwark, and bounded on the south by the 
road called Dirty Lane and on the north by a vinegar yard in 
Lombard Street, and the extremity of St. Saviour's Parish." Wil- 
kinson, Londina, A way from Falcon Stairs through Bandy Leg 
Walk (now Guildford Street) led directly to the place, and 
Williams, Finch's successor, made an entrance from St. George's 
Fields. Those who came by water landed at Mason's Stairs. 



A subscription ticket of a guinea entitled the holder 
to such benefits, as Finch's spring conferred and gave 
admission to the evening entertainments that were in- 
troduced from about 1764. The ordinary admission 
was a shilling, raised on special nights to two shillings. 
The gardens were open on Sunday when sixpence was 

charged, though the visitor was en- 
titled for his money to tea, half a 
pint of wine, cakes, jelly or cyder. 

An orchestra containing an organ 
by Pike, of Bloomsbury, stood in the 
garden, and there was another or- 
chestra attached to a large octagonal 
music-room decorated with paintings 

ADMISSION TICKET, . ^ -- rr^i - \r>. ° 

FINCHES GRorro. and restoons or flowers. This Octagon 

Room was used for occasional balls and 
for the promenade and concert on wet evenings. 

The place appears to have been respectably conducted, 
but there is little evidence that it was ever a modish 
resort, in spite of the assertion of the country-bred 
Mrs. Hardcastle ^ that no one could " have a manner 
that has never seen the Pantheon, the Grotto Gardens, 
the Borough and such places where the nobility chiefly 
resort." ^ 

The vocal and instrumental concerts which took 
place every evening in the season (May-September) 
were of a creditable though not very ambitious character. 
About fifteen hundred persons are said to have been 
present on some of the Freemasons' nights and on the 
benefit nights of the performers. 

Numerous singers and instrumentalists were engaged,^ 

^ Goldsmith's S^e Stoops to Conquer^ act. ii. 

* The Dukes of York and Gloucester, brothers of George III., 
are, however, said to have visited the gardens many times. 

* List of performers under Finch and Williams : — Messrs. Old- 
field (or Offield?, 1765), Lauder, Dearie, Baker, Barnshaw of 
Covent Garden Theatre, Moore, Tom Lowe, Kear (sang at Mary- 

;t_ yf:-iMa</Mg::) 


- . !• 


• * ^ ^ 

/ / 

' < V . ' ' ' 



of whom the best known are Robert Hudson the 
organist, Miss Snow and Thomas Lowe. Sophia Snow, 
the daughter of Valentine Snow, sergeant trumpeter 
to the King, married Robert Baddeley the comedian, 
who introduced her to the stage at Drury Lane in 
1765. As Mrs. Baddeley, she became notorious for 
her beauty and intrigues. She had some powers as 
an actress in genteel comedy and her melodious voice 
made her popular at Ranelagh (from 1770) and 

Lowe was the well-known tenor singer of Vauxhall 
and lessee of Marylebone Gardens from 1763 to 1768. 
Becoming bankrupt in 1768, he was glad to accept 
engagements at the humbler Finch's Grotto. He was 
announced to sing in August 1769, and appeared under 
the designation of Brother Lowe at one of the Free- 
masons' Concerts at the Grotto. 

Finch died on October 23, 1770, and his successor, a 
Mr. Williams, advertised the place as Williams's Grotto 
Gardens. The concerts were continued and among the 
musical entertainments were Bates's "The Gamester" 
(1771) and Barnshaw's "Linco's Travels."^ 

The programmes of entertainments under Finch and 
Williams included concertos on the organ, pieces for 
horns and clarionets, Handel's Coronation Anthem, 
an Ode to Summer with music by Brewster, and songs, 

lebone 1754, ^^^ ^^ Sadler's Wells in 1771 and later), Nepecker, 
Clarke, Thomas and A. Smith from the Richmond Theatre, 
Weston from Drury Lane (1772), Aitken and Murphin, Master 
Adams, Master Suett (in 1771, from Ranelagh, supposed to be 
Dick Suett the actor). Master Green, and Master Lyon. The 
female singers were Mrs. Forbes, Reed, Smith, Taylor, Clark, and 
Dorman, and Misses Garvey, Thomas (in August 1765), Carli, 
Moyse, Snow, Dowson (sang at Sadler's Wells 1775), Cantrell, 
Marshall, and Oakes. The instrumentalists included Cocklin and 
Smart, violins ; Hudson, organ i FalmcTj ^ute. 

^ "Linco's Travels" was also performed at the Patagonian 
Theatre, Exeter Change. Humphreys's Memoirs of Decastro^ z'^y, 

R 2 


such as " Thro' the Wood, Laddie " ; " Water parted 
from the Sea" ; "Oh what a charming thing is a 
Battle"; "British Wives"; "O'er Mountains and 
Moorlands " ; " Cupid's Recruiting Sergeant " (with 
drum and fife accompaniment) ; " Swift Wing'd Ven- 
geance," from Bates's Pharnaces ; " Shepherds cease 
your soft complainings ; " a satirical song on Garrick's 
Stratford Jubilee ; " Hark, hark, the joy inspiring 
horn " ; " The Season of Love," sung by Mr. Dearie^ 
(1765) :— 

Bright Sol is return'd and the Winter is o'er, 
O come then, Philander, with Sylvia away.^ 

Fireworks were occasionally displayed, and when a 
ball was given, the place was illuminated at a cost of 
about five pounds, and horns and clarionets played 
till twelve in the garden. In 1771 and 1772 a grand 

1 A programme of a benefit night for 12 September, 1771 (under 
Williams), may be inserted as a specimeji : — 

"Act i. — An Overture. A favourite song from the opera of 
Pharnaces : * Swift wing'd vengeance nerves my arm,* by Mr. A. 
Smith, set by Mr. Bates. A favourite Scotch air by Miss Dowson, 
words and music by Mr. A. Smith. An overture by Abel. The 
Act to conclude with a celebrated song from Anacreon, set by Mr. 
Starling [Sterling ?] Goodwin, by Mr. A. Smith. Act ii. — * The 
soldier tired of war's alarm,' by Miss Dowson. A new song, ' O 
what a charming thing is a battle,' by Mr. Barnshaw. An overture 
in Otho, Handel. ' Sweet Echo,' by a young gentleman from Italy. 
Trumpet Concerto by Master Green, pupil of Mr. Jones. The 
celebrated song of the 'British Wives,' by Mr. A. Smith. A new 
song by Miss Dowson. Concerto on the violin by Mr. Smart* 
The Act to conclude with * Russel's triumph,* by Mr. A. Smith, 
by particular desire. To which will be added an entertainment 
called * The Gamester,' to be sung by Mr. A. Smith, Mr. Barn- 
shaw, Miss Dowson, and Mrs. Dorman, with a hornpipe in the 
character of a sailor, by Mr. Rawlins from the Opera House in 
the Haymarket. At the end of the hornpipe Mr. A. Smith will 
sing the celebrated song of ' The storm or the danger of the sea,* 

in character. After which will be displayed a Grand Transparent 

P' • >» 


transparent painting forty feet wide and thirty high, 
with illuminations, was displayed. Over the centre arch 
of this masterpiece was a medallion of Neptune sup- 
ported by Tritons : on each side were two fountains 
**with serpents jetting water, representing different 
coloured crystal.' On one wing was Neptune drawn 
by sea-horses ; on the other, Venus rising from the sea ; 
and the back arches showed a distant prospect of the 
sea. In June 1771 a representation was given " of the 
famous Fall of Water call'd Pystill Rhiader near the 
seat of Sir Watkin Williams Wynne, Bart., in Denbigh- 

Apparently these entertainments failed to pay the 
proprietor and in 1773 (?) he pulled down the grotto 
over the spring and rooted up the shrubs to form a 
skittle ground in connection with the tavern, which still 
continued to be carried on. 

About 1777 the "messuages and lands known as the 
Grotto Gardens " were purchased for the parish of St. 
Saviour's, Southwark, part of the ground being used for 
the erection of a workhouse and part for a Burial 
Ground (consecrated in 1780). In 1799 the Work- 
house was sold to Mr. John Harris, hat manufacturer, 
and M.P. for Southwark in 1830, who used it as his 
manufactory and residence. Some relics of the old 
Grotto were to be found many years after the closing of 
the Gardens, notably the Octagon Room, which was 
converted into a mill and at one time used as the 
armoury of the Southwark Volunteers. 

In 1824 "a very large and old mulberry tree" was 
standing at the end of a long range of wooden tea- 
rooms formerly belonging to the gardens and converted 
into inferior cottages. Behind the cottages was a 
water-course derived from Loman's Pond dividing them 
from a field, once part of the gardens, though only 
occupied at that time by dust and rubbish. 

The tavern attached to the Gardens continued to be 


carried on under the sign of the Grotto till 28 May^ 
1795, when it was destroyed by fire. The new tavern 
erected in its place bore the sign of The Goldsmith's 
Arms, and afterwards of the " Old Grotto new 
reviv d. 

In the front of this house was inserted a stone bear- 
ing the inscription : — 

Here Herbs did grow 
And Flowers sweet. 
But now 'tis call'd 
Saint George's Street.* 

This building was removed for the formation of the 
present Southwark Bridge Road in 1825 and a public 
house named The Goldsmith's Arms — still standing — 
was built on the western side of the new road, more 
upon the site of the old Grotto Gardens. The main 
site of the gardens is now occupied by the large red- 
brick building, which forms the headquarters of the 
Metropolitan Fire Brigade. 

[Wilkinson's Londina lllustrata^ vol. ii., " Finch's Grotto Gar- 
dens" ; Manning and Bray's Surreyy iii. 591 ; Brayley and Mantell's 
Surrey ^y, 371 ; Rendlc and Norman's Inns of Old Southtvark^ 360— 
364 ; Walford, vi. 64 ; newspaper cuttings, W. Coll.] 


The only view is one of the second tavern published in Wil- 
kinson's Londina lllustrata^ 1825 : — 

" South-east view of the Grotto, now the Goldsmith's Arms in 
the Parish of St. George's, Southwark." This shows the inscrip- 
tion : "Here Herbs did grow." 

1 In 1827 this stone was used as a step in the yard of the house 
of a Mrs. Stevens near the site of the Gardens, the verses being 
then almost illegible (Wilkinson). 


Cuper's Gardens, a notable resort during the first 
half of the last century, owe their name and origin to 
Boyder Cuper, who rented, in the parish of Lambeth 
on the south side of the Thames Opposite Somerset 
House, a narrow strip of meadow land surrounded by 

About 1 69 1 or earlier he opened the place as a 
pleasure garden with agreeable walks and arbours and 
some good bowling-greens. As an old servant of the 
Howard family he obtained the gift of some of the 
statues that had been removed when Arundel House in 
the Strand was pulled down. These, though mutilated 
and headless, appeared to the proprietor to give classic 
distinction to his garden, and they remained there till 
1 7 17, when his successor, a John Cuper, sold these 
'Arundel Marbles' for ^75.^ 

During the first twenty or thirty years -of the last 
century, Cuper's was a good deal frequented in the 
summer-time. A tavern by the water-side, called The 
Feathers, was connected with the grounds. 

It is not certain that music and dancing were pro- 
vided at this period, and the company appears to have 
consisted chiefly of young attorneys' clerks and Fleet 
Street sempstresses, with a few City, dames, escorted by 

1 Nichols's Lambeth^ 1786 (in vol. ii. of BibL Topog. Brit, 
p. 77, iF.) ; Michaelis's Ancient Marbles in Great Britain^ 35-37' 

■ jL ~Iir Tr rL ■ ■ - ^ - 


their husbands' 'prentices, who (perhaps after paying a 
visit to the floating ' Folly ') sat in the arbours singing, 
laughing, and regaling themselves with bottle-ale.^ 

The place was popularly known as Cupid's Gardens, 
and is even thus denominated in maps of the last 
century. This name is preserved in the traditional 
song, once very popular, "'Twas down in Cupid's 
Garden " : — 

'Twas down in Cupid's Garden 

For pleasure I did go, 

To see the fairest flowers 

That in that garden grow : 

The first it was the jessamine. 

The lily, pink and rose. 

And surely they're the fairest flowers 

That in that garden grows.^ 

In 1738 the tavern and gardens were taken by 
Ephraim Evans, a publican who had kept the Hercules 
Pillars opposite St. Dunstan's Church, Fleet Street. 
During his tenancy (i 738-1 740) he improved the 
gardens and erected an orchestra in which was set up an 
organ by Bridge. A band played from six till ten and 
Jones, the blind Welsh harper, was engaged to perform 
selections from Handel and Corelli. The admission 
was then and thenceforward one shilling, and the 
gardens were opened on Sunday free of charge.^ It 
was announced that care would be taken to keep out 
bad company and that no servant in livery would be 
admitted to walk in the garden. 

There was a back way to the gardens leading from 
St. George's Fields, and watchmen were appointed " to 
guard those who go over the fields late at night." The 
favourite approach, however, was by water, and the 

1 Prologue to Mrs. Centlivre's Busybody, 

* Chappell {Popular Music in the Olden Time^ ii. 727, 728) gives 
words and music. 

^ The gardens were closed on the Sundays of 1752. 






• • • 
^ « 

• • 



visitors landed at Cuper's Stairs, a few yards east of 
the present Waterloo Bridge. The season lasted from 
April or May till the beginning of September. 

Evans died on 14 October, 1740,^ but the tavern and 
gardens were carried on by his widow. It was under 
the spirited management of the widow Evans that 
Cuper's Gardens especially flourished, and her advertise- 
ments figure frequently in the newspapers (i 741-1759). 
* The Widow,' as she was called, presided at the bar 
during the evening and complimentary visitors described 
her as " a woman of discretion " and " a well-looking 
comely person." By providing good music and elabo- 
rate fireworks, she attracted a good deal of fashionable 
patronage. The Prince and Princess of Wales visited 
the place and some of Horace Walpole's friends,^ Lord 
Bath and Lord Sandys, for instance, both of whom had 
their pockets picked there. The well-dressed sharper 
was, in fact, by no means unknown at Cuper's. One 
night in 1743 a man was caught stealing from a young 
lady a purse containing four guineas, and while being 
taken by a constable to Lambeth was rescued by a gang 
of thieves in St. George's Fields. On the whole, 
Cuper's was looked upon as a decidedly rakish place at 
which a prudent young lady was not to be seen alone 
with a gentleman.^ 

For the evening concert of 16 June, 1741, Mrs. 
Evans announced "a new grand concerto for the 
organ by the author, Mr. Henry Burgess, junior, of 
whom it may be said without ostentation that he is of 

. ^ Ge;it, Mag. 1740, 525. 

^ Walpole's Letters^ ed, Cunningham, ii. 32, 24 June, 1746. 
Bad company was not unknown in the earlier days of the gardens : 
see Welstcd's Epistle on False Fame^ 1732 : — 

" For Cupid's Bowers she hires the willing scull .... 
While here a 'prentice, there a captain bites." 

' The Complete Letter-writer^ Edinburgh, 1773, quoted in Notes 
and Queries y 7th ser. ii. 469. 


as promising a genius and as neat a performer as any of 
the age.** Composers better known to fame than Mr. 
Henry Burgess, junior, were also represented. The 
programme, for instance, of one July evening in 1741 
consisted of " The Overture in Saul, with several grand 
choruses composed by Mr. Handel " ; the eighth 
concerto of Corelli ; a hautboy concerto by Sig. Hasse ; 
" Blow, blow thou wintry wind," and other favourite 
songs composed by the ingenious Mr. Ame, and the 
whole concluded with a new grand piece of music, an 
original composition by Handel, called * Portobello,' in 
honour of the popular hero, Admiral Vernon, " who 
took Portobello with six ships only." On other occa- 
sions there were vocal performances (1748--1750) by 
Signora Sibilla and by Master Mattocks. The Signora 
was Sibilla Gronamann, daughter of a German pastor 
and the first wife of Thomas Pinto, the violinist. She 
died in or before 1766. Mattocks, who had "a sweet 
and soft voice," was afterwards an operatic actor at 
Covent Garden. Mrs. Mattocks sang at the gardens in 

After the concert, at half-past nine or ten, a gun 
gave the signal for the fireworks for which the place 
was renowned. 

On 18 July, 1 74 1, the Fire Music from Handel's 
opera, " Atalanta," was given, the fireworks consisting 
of wheels, fountains, large sky-rockets, " with an addi* 
tion of the fire-pump, &c., made by the ingenious Mr. 
Worman, who originally projected it for the opera " 
when performed in 1736. The Daily Advertiser for 
28 June, 1743, announced that " this night will be burnt 
the Gorgon's head .... in history said to have snakes 
on her hair and to kill men by her looks, such a thing 
as was never known to be done in England before." 
For another night (4 September, 1749) the entertain- 
ment was announced to conclude with " a curious and 
magnificent firework, which has given great satisfaction 


to the nobility, wherein Neptune will be drawn on the 
canal by sea-horses and set fire to an Archimedan (sic) 
worm and return to the Grotto." 

In 1746 (August 14) there was a special display 
to celebrate " the glorious victory obtained over the 
rebels" by the Duke of Cumberland, consisting of 
emblematic figures and magnificent fireworks, with 
" triumphant arches burning in various colours." In 
1749 (May) there was a miniature reproduction with 
transparencies and fireworks of the Allegorical Temple 
that had been displayed in the Green Park on 27 April, 
1749, to commemorate the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. 
At the opening of the gardens on April 30 for the 
season of 1750, the edifice from which the fireworks 
were displayed was altered " into an exact model of that 
at the Hague, made on account of the General Peace." 

The season of 1752, practically the last at Cuper's, 
lasted from May till near the end of September. The 
principal vocalist was Miss Maria Bennett.^ The fire- 
works and scenic eflfects were novel and elaborate. A 
song commemorating the Prince of Wales's birthday 
was "shown curiously in fireworks in the front of the 
machine." The fireworks building, when the curtain 
was withdrawn, disclosed a perspective view of the city 
of Rhodes — sea, buildings, and landscape, with a model 
of the Colossus, from under which Neptune issued forth 
and set fire to a grand pyramid in the middle of 
the canal. Dolphins spouted water ; water-wheels and 
rockets threw up air-balloons and suns blazed on the 
summit of the building. 

On one occasion the crowd near the fireworks was so 
great that a gentleman took up his position in a tree, 
and when St. George and the Dragon came to a close 
engagement and the clockwork began to move the 
arms of St. George to pierce the Dragon, he let go his 

^ Twelve songs by Lewis Granom, as sung at Cupcr's Gardens 
by Miss Maria Bennett, published London, 24. November, 1752. 


hands to clap like the rest and fell headlong upon the 

The * Inspector' of the London Daily Advertiser 
took his friend the old Major, to Cupid's Gardens (as 
they were still called) on a pleasant August evening in 
this year. The Major was delighted with all he saw. 
" Now I like this. I am always pleased when I see 
other people happy : the folks that are rambling about 
among the trees there ; the jovial countenances of them 
delight me ... . here's all the festivity and all the 
harmless indulgence of a country wake." ^ 

The country wake element was in evidence late in the 
evening, and constables stationed at the gate had occa- 
sionally to interfere. One night, for instance, a pretty 
young woman, accompanied by a friend, promenaded 
the gardens dressed as a man wearing a long sword. No 
small sensation was caused in the miscellaneous company, 
which included a physician, a templar, a berouged old 
lady and her granddaughter, and the sedate wife of 
a Cheapside fur-seller. ** A spirited young thing with 
a lively air and smart cock of her hat" passed by. 
" Gad," said she, as she tripped along, " I don't see 
there's anything in it ; give us their cloathes and we 
shall look as sharp and as rakish as they do." " What 
an air ! what a gate ! what a tread the baggage has ! " 
exclaimed another. 

But the days of Cuper's were numbered. In the 
early part of 1752 the statute-book had been dignified 
by the addition of 25 George II., cap. 36, entitled, 
" An Act for the better preventing thefts and robberies 

^ The fireworks at Cuper's in 175 1 are described in the London 
Daily Advertiser for 10 September, 175 1. 

* * The Inspector/ No. 448, in the London Daily Advertiser for 
6 August, 1752. The details that follow arc derived from the 
same journal for 4 August, 1752, where they are related of "one 
of the public gardens on the other side of the water." Possibly 
Vauxhall is intended, but if not literally true of Cuper*s Gardens, 
they seem sufficiently applicable to them. 


and for regulating places of public entertainment and 
punishing persons keeping disorderly houses." By 
section 2 of this enactment it was required that every 
house, room, garden, or other place kept for public 
dancing or music, &c., within the cities of London and 
Westminster, or twenty miles thereof, should be under 
a licence. The Act took effect from December i, 1752, 
and the necessary licence for the season of 1753 was 
refused to the management of Cuper's Gardens. The 
widow Evans complained bitterly that she was denied 
the liberty of opening her gardens, a misfortune at- 
tributed by her to the malicious representations of ill- 
meaning persons, but which was really owing, no doubt, 
to the circumstance that Cuper's was degenerating into 
the place which Pennant says he remembered as the 
scene of low dissipation. Meanwhile Mrs. Evans threw 
open the grounds (June 1753) as a tea-garden in con- 
nection with the Feathers, and the walks were " kept in 
pleasant order." 

In the summer of 1755 entertainments of the old 
character were revived, but they were advertised as 
fifteen private evening concerts and fireworks, open only 
to subscribers, a one guinea ticket admitting two per- 
sons. It is to be suspected that the subscription was 
mythical, and was a mere device to evade the Act. 
However, a band was engaged, and on June 23 loyal 
visitors to Cuper's commemorated the accession of King 
George to the throne by a concert and fireworks. 
Clitherow, who had been the engineer of Cuper's fire- 
works from 1750 (or earlier), was again employed, but 
had to publish in the newspapers a lame apology for 
the failure of the Engagement on the Water on the 
night of August 2 (1755 )» a failure which he explained 
was not due to his want of skill but ** owing to part of 
the machinery for moving the shipping being clogg'd 
by some unaccountable accident, and the powder in the 
ships having unfortunately got a little damp." 


From 175 6- 1759 Cuper's Gardens were again used 
as the tea-garden of the Feathers. There was no 
longer a Band of Musick but (as the advertisements ex- 
press it) " there still remains some harmony from the 
sweet enchanting sounds of rural warblers." 

The last recorded entertainment at the place was a 
special concert given on August 30, 1759 by "a select 
number of gentlemen for their own private diversion/* 
who had " composed an ode alluding to the late decisive 
action of Prince Ferdinand.*' Any lady or gentleman 
inspired by Prussian glory was admitted to this enter- 
tainment on payment of a shilling. 

For several years the gardens remained unoccupied, 
but from about 1768 three acres of them were leased 
to the firm of Beaufoy, the producers of British wines 
and vinegar. The orchestra, or rather the edifice 
used from 1750 for the fireworks, was utilised for 
the distillery. Dr. Johnson once passed by the 
gardens : " Beauclerk, I, and Langton, and Lady 
Sydney Beauclerk, mother to our friend, were one day 
driving in a coach by Cuper's Gardens which were 
then unoccupied. I, in sport, proposed that Beauclerk, 
and Langton, and myself, should take them, and we 
amused ourselves with scheming how we should all do 
our parts. Lady Sydney grew angry and said, * An 
old man should not put such things in young people's 
heads.' She had no notion of a joke, sir ; had come 
late into life, and had a mighty unpliable under- 
standing." ^ 

J. T. Smith 2 tells us that he walked over the place 
when occupied by the Beaufoys, and . saw many of the 
old lamp-irons along the paling of the gardens, humble 
reminders of the days when the walks of Cuper's 
Gardens were "beautifully illuminated with lamp- 
trees in a grand taste, disposed in proper order." In 

^ Boswell, Life ofjohnsoriy ed. Croker, chap. xli. p. 366. 
2 No lie kens y ii. 201. 

nUmh ^ 


1 8 14 part of the ground was required for making 
the south approach to Waterloo Bridge. The " fire- 
works " building and the rest of Messrs. Beaufoys' 
works were then taken down and the Waterloo 
Road, sixty feet in width, was cut through the three 
acres, thus passing through the centre of Cuper's 
Gardens which had extended up to the site of the 
present St. John's Church (built in 1823) opposite 
Waterloo Station. 

The Royal Infirmary for Children and Women 
erected in 1823 on the eastern side of the Waterloo 
Road stands on (or rather over) the centre of the 
site of the gardens. The Feathers was used during 
the building of the bridge for the pay-table of the 
labourers, and when it was taken down (about 1 8 1 8 ?) 
its site was occupied by a timber-yard, close to the 
eastern side of the first land-arch of the Waterloo 

The public-house now called the Feathers, standing 
near the Bridge and rising two stories above the level 
of the Waterloo Road was built by the proprietor 
of the old Feathers in 18 18. 

[Wilkinson's Londina Iliustratay vol. ii. "Cuper's Gardens," 
Public Gardens Coll. in Guildhall Library, London (newspaper 
cuttings, &c.) ; Charles Howard's Historical Anecdotes of the Howard 
Family (1769), 98, IF. ; Pennant's Account of London^ 3rd ed. 1793, 
32-34 ; Musical Times^ February 1894, 84, IF. ; Hone's Every Day 
Booky i. 603 ; E. Hatton's New new of London^ 1708, ii. 785 ; 
Lysons's Environs, 1792, i. 319, 320 ; Walford, vi. 388, 389 ; TSe 
Observatory March 10, 1702-3 ; newspaper cuttings, W. Coll.] 


1. View of the Savoy, Somerset House, and the water entrance 
to Cuper's Gardens, engraved by W. M. Fellows, 1808, in J. T. 
Smith's Antiquities of IVestminster, from a painting (done in 1770^ 
according to Crace, Cat. 188, No. 219) by Samuel Scott. 

2. Woodcuts in Walford, vi. 391, snowing entrance to the 
gardens (the back entrance) and the " orchestra " during the de- 


molition of the buildings ; cp. ib. 390. Walford also mentions, 
ib, p. 388, a view showing the grove, statues, and alcoves, of the 

3. Water-colour drawings of Beaufoys* and Cuper's in 1798 and 
in 1809 (Grace, Cat, 648, Nos. 49, 50). 

4. Wilkinson, Lond. Illust, (1825), vol. ii. gives three views, 
PI. 155, view of the Great Room as occupied for Bcaufoys' manu- 
factory, with a plan of the gardens ; PI. i 56, another similar view ; 
PI. 157, view of the old Feathers Tavern. 


Close by Cuper's Stairs (where the visitors to 
Cuper's Gardens landed) and opposite Somerset House, 
there was generally moored during the summer months 
a sort of castellated house-boat, notorious as The Folly. ^ 

It consisted of a strong barge on which was a deck 
platform, surrounded by a balustrade, and contained a 
saloon provided with large windows and divided into 
boxes and compartments. At each of the four angles 
of the deck was a turret, giving the whole something of 
the appearance of a floating castle. 

This " whimsical piece of architecture " (as Thomas 
Brown calls it) ^ was in existence soon after the Restora- 
tion, and in 1668 was visited by Pepys.^ It was in- 
tended, says Brown, " as a musical summer-house for 
the entertainment of quality where they might meet and 
ogle one another . . . but the ladies of the town find- 
ing it as convenient a rendezvous for their purpose . . • 
dash'd the female quality out of countenance and made 
them seek a more retired conveniency " for their ** amor- 
ous intrigues." Queen Mary (II.) once paid it a 

1 The Folly was occasionally moored off the Bank side (Wheat- 
ley, London Past and Present^ " The Folly "). 

^ Amusements Serious and Comicaly part ii. " The Thames." 
^ Pepys {Diary^ 13 April, 1668) jots down in his daily expenditure 
a shilling spent " in the Folly." From the circumstance that he 
makes no special comment on the place it may perhaps be inferred 
that he was already acquainted with it from previous visits. 


visit, and the proprietor endeavoured to re-christen 
it The Royal Diversion. It continued, however, to 
be popularly known as The Folly, and already in 1 700 
had ceased to have any quality to boast of, at least 
among its female frequenters. 

Thomas Brown describes a visit that he made about 
1 700, Rowing up to the side in a boat he found him- 
self scrutinised by a crowd of women both young and 
old, and (as he puts it) " of all sorts and sizes." Some 
of these ladies were dancing and tripping airily about 



the deck, and some tattling to their beaux ; but many 
of the company, including certain long-sworded bullies, 
were crowded into the boxes in the saloon where they 
sat, smoking, and drinking burnt brandy. " In short, 
it was such a confused scene of folly, madness and 
debauchery " that Thomas Brown, by no means a 
squeamish person, stepped again into his boat " without 

The Folly in its later days was occasionally visited 
by people who at least worked honestly for their 
living, and the draper's apprentice, when his shop was 
shut, would row up with his sweetheart for an evening's 
amusement at this curious haunt.^ 

' Tom D'Urfey, A Tnuch afth time!, 1719. 
S 2 


The Folly was in existence till 1720, and perhaps 
for more than thirty years later, but the character of 
its frequenters, and the gambling that took place at 
what was known as its Golden Gaming Table, at last 
led to its suppression as a public resort. It was suffered 
to fall into such decay that its material was burnt for 

Near that part of the river where the Folly was 
usually moored the famous Chinese junk was anchored 
about 1848, and visited by thousands of sight-seers.^ 

[Thomas Brown's Amusements Serious and Comical, Part ii. "The 
Thames"; Whcatley's London Past and Present, "Folly"; E. 
Hatton's New View 0/ London, 1708, ii. 785 ; Wilkinson's Londina, 
vol. i. No. 88 ; also vol. ii. " Cupcr's Gardens " ; Walford, iii. 290 ; 
Larwood and Hottcn, History of Signboards, 509 ; manuscript notes, 
&c. in " Public Gardens " collection in Guildhall Library, London.] 


1. A view of Whitehall from the water, showing the Folly 
Musick House on the Thames. Engraved in Wilkinson's Londina 
Illustrata, vol. i. No. 88, from a drawing taken about the time of 
James II. "in the possession of Thomas Griffiths, Esq." 

2. The Southern Front of Somerset House with its extensive 
Gardens, &c., showing the Folly. A drawing by L. Knyff, about 
1720, engraved by Sawyer Junior, and published (1808) in J. T. 
Smith's sixty additional plates to his Antiquities of Westminster. 
This is copied, with a short account of the Folly, in E. W. Bray- 
ley's Londiniana (1829), vol. iii. 130, 300. It is substantially the 
same as the view on a larger scale engraved by Kip in Strype's 
Stow, 1720, ii. bk. 4, p. 105. Cp. also an engraving (W. Coll.) 
" Somerset House, La Maison de Somerset." L. Knyff del. I. Kip 
sc. undated, before 1720? 

^ Walford, iii. 290, 291. 



Belvedere House and Gardens were near Cuper's 
Gardens,^ but a little higher up the river (south side). 
They were opposite York Buildings in the Strand, and 
extended from the present Belvedere Road (then called 
Narrow Wall) to the water's edge. Some modern 
writers speak of the gardens as a place of public enter- 
tainment in the reign of Queen Anne, but there seems 
no evidence of this, and in 17 19 or 1720 the premises 
were in the possession of a Mr. English (or England), 
who at that time sold them to the Theobald family. 
In 1757, Belvedere House was the private residence of 
Mr. James Theobald. 

In the early part of 178 1, "the house called Belve- 
dere " was taken by one Charles Bascom, who opened 
it as an inn, with the added attractions of " pleasant 
gardens and variety of fish-ponds.'* He professed in 
his advertisements, to accommodate his guests with 
choice wines and with eating of every kind in season, 
after the best manner, especially with "the choicest 
river-fish which they may have the delight to see 

1 Walford's statement {Old and New London^wi. 388) that they 
adjoined Cuper's Gardens is not quite accurate. Four strips of 
land belonging to four different proprietors are marked in the map 
in Strype's Stow (1720) as lying between the Belvedere Gardens 
and Cuper's Gardens. 


The gardens could not have been open later than 
1785, for in that year part of the ground was turned 
into the Belvedere (timber) Wharf, and part was 
occupied by the machinery of the Lambeth water- 

[Advertisement in The Freethinker for April 28, 1781, quoted in 
Wilkinson's Londina^ vol. ii, "Cuper's Gardens," notes^ and in 
Nichols's Lambeth^ Nichols's Bibl, Top. Brit. ii. Appendix, 158 ; 
map in Strype's Stow (1720), vol. ii. book 6, p. 83, Appendix ; 
Manning and Bray, Surrey y iii. 467 ; Brayley and Man tell, Surrey^ 
iii. 393 ; Howard's Historical Anecdotes of some of the Howard 
Family^ 1 06 ; Wheatlcy's London P. and P. s.v. "Belvedere Road."] 


The Restoration Tavern was in existence in the 
early part of the reign of Charles 11.^ In 17 14 there 
was a new cockpit in its grounds and a great match of 
cock fighting was announced to take place there ; " two 
guineas a battle, and twenty guineas the odd battle " all 
the week, beginning at four o'clock. The races and 
popular sports then frequent in St. George's Fields 
probably brought additional custom to the house. 

In the gardens of the tavern was a purging spring 
which was advertised ^ in 1733 as already well-known 
for the cure of all cancerous and scorbutic humours. 
About the same year a second spring was discovered, 
a chalybeate " of the nature of Piermont Water but 
superior." The water was obtainable every day at the 
gardens,^ and was declared to " far exceed " the water 
at the neighbouring Dog and Duck. Dr. Rendle says 
that it must have been the mere soakage of a swamp, 

^ The proprietor, William Hagley, issued a halfpenny token " at 
ye Restoration in St. George's Feilds." Boyne's Trade Tokens of 
the Seventeenth Century^ ed. Williamson, p. 1036, No. 357. 

2 Advertisement in the Country Journal or the Craftsman^ 
31 March, 1733, where the aelebrated "Purging Spring" and the 
Chalybeate Spring "lately discovered" are mentioned, "at Mr. 
Lewis's, commonly called the Restauration Gardens in St. George's 

^ The water was also to be obtained at a corkcutter's under 
Exeter Change in the Strand. 


but whatever may have been the virtues of the spring 
it was probably before long eclipsed by its rival at the 
Dc^ and Duck, though the Restoration was in existence 
in 1755 and perhaps for some years later. || 

In 1 77 1 the garden, or at any rate about an acre of ^| 

it, was taken by William Curtis,^ the author of Flora 
Londinensis^ who formed a Botanical Garden there \ 

which was afterwards open to subscribers until 1789, * , 

when the botanist removed to another garden in the ,' 

more salubrious air of Brompton. ij 

Restoration Garden is marked in the map in Stow's 
Survey y 1755, as abutting on the western side of Angel 
Street (a continuation of the Broad Wall), southern 
end. In a map of the Surrey side of the Thames 
showing the proposed roads from Blackfriars Bridge 
(circ. 1768) the ground is marked as "Public House 
Gardens " and " Gardens." The Half-way House 
from the Borough to Westminster Bridge is marked 
immediately south of the gardens ; and still further ^ 

south is the Westminster Bridge Road, the end east of • 

the Asylum. St. Saviour's Union, Marlborough Street 
(near the New Cut), is now near the site. 

[Rendle and Norman, Inns of Old Southwark (1888), pp. 367, 
368 ; and see Notes.] 

^ Loudon*s Arboretum et frut, Brit, vol. i. p. 75. Nichols, 
Parish of Lambeth^ p. 84, says "about the year 1777." 


The Flora Tea Gardens (or Mount Gardens), were 
on the right hand side of the Westminster Bridge Road 
going towards the Obelisk, and opposite the Temple of 
Flora. They were in existence about 1796-7. The 
gardens were well kept and contained "genteel 
paintings." They were open on weekdays and on 
Sundays till about 1 1 p.m., and the admission was six- 
pence. the frequenters were democratic shopmen, 
who might be heard railing against King and Church, 
and a good many ladies respectable and the reverse. 
The "Sunday Rambler" (1796-7) describes the com- 
pany as very orderly, but at some time before 1 800 the 
place was suppressed on account of dissolute persons 
frequenting it. 

Some small cottages were then built in the middle of 
the garden, which retained a rural appearance till shortly 
before 1827, when several rows of houses, "Mount 
Gardens," were erected on the site. 

[The Flora Tea Gardens described in A Modern Sabbath (1797), 
chap, viii., are evidently identical with the Mount Gardens men- 
tioned by Allen (Lambeth^ 335)» though he does not mention their 
alternative name (cp. Walford, vi. 389). Allen {foe. cit.) is the 
authority for the suppression of the gardens.] 


The Temple of Flora stood hard by the Temple of 
Apollo, in the middle of Mount Row on the lefthand side 
of Westminster Bridge Road, going towards the Obelisk, 
and was separated by Oakley Street from the Apollo 
Gardens (Temple of Apollo). Concerts were given 
every evening in the season, and the place is described 
as " beautifully fitted up with alcoves and exotics." 

In the hot house was " an elegant statue of Pomona," 
a transparency of Flora, and at the lower end of the 
garden, a natural cascade and fountain. " The entrance 
and the gardens," were advertised in July 1789 as 
being formed by the proprietor into an exact imitation 
of the admired Temple of Flora, which he had con- 
structed at the Grand Gala at Ranelagh. 

Some special entertainments were given in June and 
July in honour of the King's recovery, and the Grand 
Temple of Flora, an " elegant and ingenious imitation 
of Nature in her floral attire," was then illuminated 
with nearly a thousand variegated lamps amid wreaths 
of flowers twining round pillars " made in imitation of 
Sienna marble." Fireworks and waterworks were also 
displayed ; a large star of lamps was suspended above 
the cascade, and (in the absence of nightingales) " a 
variety of singing birds " were imitated. The admission 
for these special entertainments was one shilling, and 
the gardens were illuminated from eight till the closing 
time at eleven. Light refreshments were served con- 


sisting of orgeat, lemonade, "confectionary," straw- 
berries and cream. 

There is evidence ^ that in the first few years of its 
existence (i 788-1 791) the place was visited by some 
people of good position, but it afterwards became the 
haunt of dissolute characters and of young apprentices.^ 
The author of A Modern Sabbath describes (circ. 1796) 
the boxes in the gardens as " neatly painted '* like most 
of the company who were to be seen there about ten 
in the evening. The admission appears to have been 
now reduced to sixpence. 

In 1796 the proprietor, a man named Grist, was 
indicted for keeping the place as a disorderly house, 
and was ordered (May 30) to be confined for six 
months in the King's Bench Prison,^ and in all proba- 
bility the Temple of Flora was then finally closed. 

Mme, Lamotte, the heroine of the famous Diamond 
Necklace affair, ended her strange career (23 August, 
1 791) in her house near the Temple of Flora, a place of 
amusement that, it is likely enough, she frequented.* 

[A Modern Sabbath (1797), chap. viii. ; Public Advertiser^ 
2 July, 1789 (fiStes of June and July); Braylcy and Mantcll, 
Surrey^ iii. 399 ; Allen's Lambeth^ 321.] 

1 Notes and Queries^ 7th series, xi. p. 87 (communication from 
Lieut.-Col. Capel Coape). 

^ This appears from the evidence brought forward in the 
prosecution of Grist ; see The Whitehall Evening Post for May 7 
to May 10, 1796 (referring to May 7). 

* Newspapers cited by E. M. Borrajo in Notes and Queries^ 7th 
ser. zi. 138. 

* " The English translator of Lamotte's Life says she fell from 
the leads of her house, nigh the Temple of Flora, endeavouring to 
escape seizure for debt, and was taken up so much hurt that she 
died in consequence. Another report runs that she was flung out 
of window. . . . Where the Temple of Flora was, or is, one 
knows not '* (Carlyle, Diamond Necklace^ note near end). The 
Temple of Flora alluded to was certainly in London, and there 
can be no reasonable doubt that the popular resort now described 
is the place in question. 



These gardens were on the left hand side of the 
Westminster Bridge Road going from Westminster to 
the Obelisk, and were situated nearly where the engi- 
neering factory of Messrs. Maudslay, Sons and Field 
now stands and opposite the present Christ Church 
Congregational Chapel.^ 

Walter Claggett, the proprietor (at one time a lessee 
of the Pantheon ^ in Oxford Street) opened the place in 
October 1788 with an entertainment given in the con- 
cert room, which is described as a fine building with " a 
kind of orrery in the dome, displaying a pallid moon 
between two brilliant transparencies." In this building 
was an orchestra containing a fine-toned organ, and in 
the opening concert, given before nearly one thousand 
three hundred people, a band of about seventy instru- 
mental and vocal performers took part, the organist 
being Jonathan Battishill, 

Previous to the opening for the season in April 1790, 
the gardens were much altered and a room was arranged 
tor large dinner parties. In the gardens were a num- 
ber of " elegant pavilions or alcoves " ornamented with 
the adventures of Don Quixote and other paintings. 

^ At the period when the gardens were open ** The Asylum " 
(/.^. Female Orphan Asylum) stood where Christ Church now 

2 Cp. Wilkinson, Londina Illust, vol. ii. "Pantheon Theatre.'* 


In 1792 (May-July) there was music every evening 
and fantoccini were exhibited. In this year the con- 
certs took place in a covered promenade described as 
the Grand Apollonian Promenade. Mr. Flack, junior, 
was the leader of the band ; Mr. Costelow the organist, 
and the vocalists were Mr. Binley, Miss Wingfield, 
Mrs. Leaver, and Mrs. IlifF, the last-named one of the 
Vauxhall singers in 1787. New overtures, &c., "com- 
posed by Messrs. Haydn and Pleyel since their arrival 
in this Kingdom *' were advertised for performance. 

The season began in April or May, and the visitor 
on entering at five o'clock or later, paid a shilling or 
sixpence (1792) receiving in exchange a metal check 
entitling him to refreshments. No charge was made 
for the concert. At about nine o'clock many persons 
who had " come on " from other public places visited 
the Apollo for hot suppers, and the gardens and pro- 
menade were illuminated, sometimes with two thousand 
lamps. The proprietor prided himself on " the superior 
excellence of the Music and Wines." He boasted, 
moreover, of the patronage of the nobility and gentry, 
and vaunted the ** chastity and dignity " of the place, 
though it was probably owing to the presence of some 
of these late arriving visitors that the Apollo Gardens 
speedily acquired an unenviable reputation. 

In 1792 the place was known to be a resort of cheats 
and pickpockets. We hear of one Elizabeth Smith, a 
smartly dressed young woman, about eighteen, being 
charged in 1792 at the Guildhall with " trepanning a 
Miss Ridley," a beautiful girl ten years of age, whom 
she had taken with her to the Apollo and the Dog and 
Duck, and left crying on Blackfriars Bridge, after 
stealing her fine sash. 

The Apollo was suppressed by the magistrates, prob- 
ably about 1793.^ The proprietor himself became 

1 Allen {History of Lambeth^ 3 19) states that the Apollo Gardens 
were suppressed about 1791, but this is certainly erroneous, as 


bankrupt ; the orchestra was removed to Sydney 
Gardens, Bath ; ^ and the Temple of Apollo fell into a 
ruinous state and its site was eventually built upon. 

[A collection of newspaper cuttings relating to London, &c. 
(section, Apollo Gardens) in Guildhall Library, London [Catal, ii. 
546) ; ''Public Gardens" collection (newspaper cuttings, &c.) in 
Guildhall Library (Catal, ii. 761) ; Brayley and Mantcll, Surrey^ 
iii. 399 ; Allen's Lambeth^ 319 ; Walford, vi. 343, 389 ; A Modern 
Sabbath^ chap, viii.] 


There appear to be no extant views. The site may be ascer- 
tained from Horwood's Plan^ 1799 ; and from Willis's Plan^ 1808. 
In the Grace Coll. {Cat, p. 122, No. 69) are "Two drawn plans 
of a plot of land called the Apollo Gardens, lying next the 
Westminster Bridge Road to the Obelisk," by T. Chawner. 

the gardens were frequently advertised in 1792. Kearsley's 
Strangers^ Guide to London (1793?) mentions the place as " the 
resort of company in the evenings," and says that music was occa- 
sionally performed there. The Temple of Apollo was described 
about 1796-7 in A Modern Sabbath as already becoming ruinous, 
and it is there stated that Claggett, the proprietor, had become 
bankrupt. A newspaper paragraph of December 1 796 refers to a 
field opposite the Asylum, close by " the ditch that encircles that 
place of late infamous resort, the Apollo Gardens.'* 

^ This was probably the orchestra that seems to have stood in 
the centre of the gardens and not that in the concert room. 


(St. George's Spa) 

The Dog and Duck was in existence as a small inn 
as early as 1642.^ In its vicinity were three or four 
ponds in which, no doubt, the brutal sport of hunting 
ducks with spaniels was at one time practised,^ and near 
the place were mineral springs whose properties were 
known as early as 1695, though the water does not 
appear to have been advertised for sale till about 1731,^ 
when the Dog and Duck had taken to itself the impos- 
ing sub-title of St. George's Spaw. At this time the 
water was sold at the pump for fourpence a gallon, and 
was stated to be recommended by eminent physicians 
for gout, stone, king's evil, sore eyes, and inveterate 
cancers. A dozen bottles could be had at the Spa 
(circ. 1 733-1 7 36) for a shilling. 

From about 1754 till 1770 the water was incon- 
siderable repute, and new buildings appear to have been 

1 Cp. a token of 165 1 (**At the Dogg and Ducke in South- 
warkc," type, Spaniel with Duck in mouth) in Boyiie's Tra^e 
TokenSy ed. Williamson, p. 1022, there assigned to The Dog and 
Duck in Deadman's Place, Southwark, by Mr. Philip Norman, 
who, however, suggests the possibility of its belonging to the 
• Dog and Duck in St. George's Fields. A specimen is in the British 

* The ponds are marked in Rocque's Map, circ, 1745. The 
duck-hunting probably took place at an early period, not later than 
circ. 1750. 

8 Newspaper cutting of 173 1 (W. Coll.) : see also Th Country 
Journal or the Craftsman for 12 Aug. 1732 ; also 26 Aug. 1732. 


erected for the accommodation of visitors. There was 
a long room for breakfasting (1754), a bowling-green, 
and a swimming-bath (1769) two hundred feet long 
and nearly one hundred feet broad. Tea and coffee 
were to be had in the afternoon. At this period people 
of good position seem to have frequented the Spa or to 
have sent for the water. We find Miss Talbot writing 
about the place to Mrs. Carter, and Dr. Johnson 
suggested the use of the water to Mrs. Thrale.^ 

The proprietors issued (1760) to subscribers an 
admission ticket handsomely struck in silver with a 
portrait of Lazare Riviere, the famous Professor of 
Medicine, on its obverse. ^ 

The *?/. James's Chronicle ranked the water with that 
of Tunbridge, Cheltenham, and Buxton. 

Physicians of repute described its curative properties, 
and affirmed it to be excellent for cutaneous afflictions 
and for cancer which it would certainly arrest, even if it 
did not cure. This water, which was advertised as an 
aperient (Epsom Salts being also kept on the premises), 
came at a much later date — 1856 — under the observa- 
tion of Dr. Rendle, the historian, and, as it happened, 
the Officer of Health in that year for the Parish of St. 
George's, Southwark. Rendle procured an analysis of 
water from the superficial well, formerly the spring, on 
the site of the old Dog and Duck and was forced to 

^ Johnson to Mrs. Thralc, 10 July, 1 77 1, Letter viii. in Johnson's 
Works (ed. Murphy), xii. 338. 

* A specimen in British Museum (from Miss Banks's Coll.). 
Silver, size 1*25 inch ; Obverse: Lazarius Riverius. — Non omnibus 
dormio, — Miseris succurrere disco. Bearded head of Riviere, to left ; 
beneath head, the number "18" incised. Reverse: The original 
Spatu in St. George* s Fields so memorable in the Plague^ 1665. — For the 
proprieters (sic) T. Townshend Ale hy mist to his Majesty^ 1760. Another 
specimen described in C. A. Rudolph's Numismata (relating to 
medical men), 1862, p. 45, has the words "Robert Baker, Esq., 
Twickenham," evidently the subscriber's name, engraved on the 


describe it as " a decidedly unsafe water " containing 
impurities, eighty grains per gallon, chiefly alkaline 
chlorides, sulphates and nitrates, gypsum and carbonate 
of lime, with a little phosphoric acid. 

But we return to the year 1770, about which time 
the Dog and Duck took a new lease of life. A tem- 
porary circus established in St. George's Fields by 
Sampson, of The Three Hats, Islington, was the cause 
of much additional custom being brought to the tavern, 
and Mrs. Hedger who kept the house was obliged to 
send for her son who was then a youth in a stable-yard 
at Epsom. Young Hedger soon saw the possibilities of 
the place. He gradually improved the premises and in 
a few years was making a large income from the tavern 
and its tea-garden, which was much frequented, especi- 
ally on Sundays.^ The garden was well laid out and 
contained **a pretty piece of water " doubtless one of 
the old ducking ponds, and at one time a band played 
in the garden for the delectation of the weekday visitors. 
At night, the long room was brilliantly lighted for the 
company who assembled to dance, drink, and listen to 
the strains of the organ. Under Hedger, however, the 
character of the company went from bad to worse. The 
** rowdy " delights of the Dog and Duck are indicated, 
though probably with an exaggerated coarseness, in 
Garrick's Prologue to " The Maid of the Oaks " acted 
at Drury Lane in 1775 : — 

St. George's Fields, with taste and fashion struck, 

Display Arcadia at the Dog and Duck, 

And Drury misses here in tawdry pride. 

Are there " Pastoras " by the fountain side ; 

To frowsy bowers they reel through midnight damps. 

With Fauns half drunk, and Dryads breaking lamps.^ 

* The water continued to be advertised in newspapers of 1771- 
1779. Hedger afterwards put in his nephew Mills (or Miles) to 
conduct the house which is said to have yielded Hedger j£l,ooo a 
year, but evidently himself remained the moving spirit. 

* On the " Maid of the Oaks," see Baker's Biog, Dram, 



In about ten years the Dog and Duck had become a 
place of assignation and the haunt of " the riff-raff and 
scum of the town." One of its frequenters, Charlotte 
Shaftoe, is said to have betrayed seven of her intimates 
to the gallows. At last, on September ii, 1787, the 
Surrey magistrates refused to renew the license. Hedger^ 
like the Music Hall managers of our own time, was 
not easily beaten. He appealed to the City of London, 
and two City justices claiming to act as justices in 
Southwark, renewed the license seven days after its 
refusal by the County magistrates. The legality of 
the civic jurisdiction in Surrey was tried in 1792. 
before Lord Kenyon and other judges, who decided 
against it. The license of the Dog and Duck was 
then made conditional on its being entirely closed on 

In 1795 ^^^ ^^^^ ^"^ ^^^ bowling-green were adver- 
tised as attractions and the water might be drunk on 
the usual terms of threepence each person. About 
1796 the place was again open on Sundays, but the 
license was lost. This difficulty the proprietor sur- 
mounted by engaging a Freeman of the Vintners Com- 
pany, who required no license, to draw the wine that 
was sold on the premises. The " Sunday Rambler '* 
who visited the place (circ. 1796) one evening about 
ten o'clock found a dubious company assembled. He 
recognised a bankrupt banker and his mistress ; a 
notorious lady named Nan Sheldon ; and another lady 
attired in extreme fashion and known as ** Tippy 
Molly,'* though once she had been a modest Mary 
Johnson. De Castro (Memoirs)y with a certain touch 
of pathos, describes the votaries of the Dog and Duck 
in its later days as "the children of poverty, irregu- 

^ The Dog and Duck may have been more respectably con- 
ducted for a time. On 28 May, 1792, a charity dinner of the 
Parish of St. Thomas, Southwark, was held there (engraved 
invitation ticket in W. Coll.). 




larity and distress." ^ It would, indeed, be easy to 
moralise on the circumstance that the place was soon to 
become the inheritance of the blind and the lunatic 
In or before 1799 ^^ ^^8 ^^'^ Duck was suppressed, 
and the premises, after having been used as a public 
soup-kitchen, became in that year the establishment of 
the School for the Indigent Blind, an institution which 
remained there till 1 8 1 1. 

Meanwhile, the enterprising Hedger, had made a 
good use of his profits by renting (from about the 
year 1789) a large tract of land in St. George's Fields 
at low rates from the managers of the Bridge House 
Estate. The fine for building was ;^500, but Hedger 
immediately paid this penalty, and while sub-letting a 
portion of the ground, ran up on the rest a number 
of wretched houses which hardly stood the term of his 
twenty-one years' lease. From this source he is said to 
have derived ^7,000 a year. He died in the early part 
of the present century,^ having obtained the title of The 
King of the Fields, and the reputation of a " worthy 
private character." He left his riches to his eldest son, 
whom the people called the Squire. 

The Dog and Duck was pulled down in 181 1 for the 
building of the present Bethlehem Hospital, the first 
stone of which was laid on 18 April, 18 12. The old 
stone sign of the tavern, dated 1 7 1 6, and representing 
a spaniel holding a duck in its mouth, and the Arms of 
the Bridge House Estate, was built into the brick garden- 
wall of the Hospital where it may still be seen close to 
the actual site of the once notorious Dog and Duck. 

* The Do^ and Duck and the Apollo Gardens were for a time 
within the Rules of the King's Bench Debtors' Prison (De Castro's 
Memoir 5^:^^, 126, 134). 

.. A In.De Castro's Memoirs (1824) it is stated that he died "about 
tvvtd years ago," which indicates the year 1822, or possibly the year 
1 8 10 (for part of the Memoirs were apparently written circ, 181 2) 
as the date of his death. He was certainly alive, however, during 
part of the year 18 10. 


[Truslcr's London Adviser (1786), pp. 124, 164; Fores's New 
Guide (1789), preface, p. vi ; Allen's London^ iv. 470, 482, 485 ; 
A Modern Sabbath^ '^797 1 chap. viii. ; Wheatlcy's London P. and P^ 
s.v. " St. George's Fields " and " Dog and Duck " ; Humphreys's 
Memoirs of De Castro (1824), 126, ff. ; Manning and Bray, Surrey^ 
iii. 468, 554, 632, 701 ; Allen's Lambeth, p. 7, 347 ; Gent» Mag, 
1 813, pt. 2, 556 ; Rendle and Norman, Inns of Old Southwarky 
p. 368, IF.; Walford, vi. 343, 344, 350-352, 364; Larwood and 
Hotten, Signboards, 196, 197 ; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. iv. 37 ; 
newspaper cuttings in W. Coll.] 


1. The old Dog and Duck Tavern, copied from an old drawing 
1646, water-colour drawing by T. H. Shepherd, Crace, Cat, 
p. 646. No. 27. 

2. The Dog and Duck in 1772. A print published 1772. 
Crace, Cat, p. 646, No. 28. 

3. Woodcut of exterior, 1780, in Chambers's Book of DaySy 

4. "Labour in Vain, or Fatty in Distress" (St. George's Spa in 
the background), print published by C. Bowles, 1782, Crace, Cat, 
p. 647, No. 35, and W. Coll. 

5. Engraving of the exterior, 1788 (W. Coll.). 

6. Interior of the Assembly Room. A stipple engraving, 1789, 
reproduced in Rendle and Norman, Inns of Old Bouthwark, 373. 

7. Sign of Dog and Duck, engraved in Walford, vi. 344 ; cp. 
Crace, Cat, p. 646, No. 32, and Rendle and Norman, Inns of Old 
Southwark, p. 369. 


The Black Prince at Newington Butts possessed, 
about 1788, 'a pleasant garden frequented for trap-ball 


._-— -^ 












playing. There is a view (W. Coll.) of the tavern and 
garden printed for C. Bowles, 22 Sept., 1788. 


In the last century Lambeth Marsh and the fields in 
the neighbourhood were a favourite resort of Londoners 
for running-matches and outdoor sports, and the Lam- 
beth Wells offered the special attractions of music and 
mineral water-drinking. The Wells (opened to the 
public before 1697) were situated in Three Coney 
Walk, now called Lambeth Walk, and consisted of 
two springs, distinguished as the Nearer and Farther 
Well. The water was sent out to St. Thomas's Hos- 
pital and elsewhere at a penny a quart, and the poor 
had it free. 

The usual charge for admission for drinking the 
waters was threepence, including the music, which, 
about 1700, began at seven in the morning, and was 
continued on three days of the week till sunset, and on 
other days till two. The season began in the spring, 
usually on Easter Monday. 

Attached to the Wells was a Great Room, in which 
concerts and dancing took place. During the season of 
1697 there was a "consort" every Wednesday of "vocal 
and instrumental musick, consisting of about thirty 
instruments and voices, after the manner of the musick- 
meeting in York Buildings, the price only excepted," 
each person to pay for coming in but one shilling. 
These concerts began originally at 2.30 p.m., but after- 
wards at six, when no person was admitted in a mask. 

About 1700 these shilling concerts seem to have been 
discontinued, but the Wells remained in some repute 


till about 1736, when they found a rival in the spring 
of the Dog and Duck, and the attendance fell ofF. 

In 1740 the owner was named Keefe. About 1750, 
under his successor Ireland, a musical society under the 
direction of Sterling Goodwin, organist of St. Saviour's, 
Southwark, gave a monthly concert there. At the 
same period Erasmus King, once coachman to Dr. 
Desaguliers, read lectures there and exhibited experi- 
ments in natural philosophy (admission sixpence). 
There were gala dancing-days in 1747, and in 1752 
(June 27), when a " penny wedding in the Scotch 
manner was celebrated for the benefit of a young couple." 

At a later date (after 1755 ^^) ^^^ place was con- 
demned as a nuisance, and the magistrates refused the 
dancing licence. The Great Room was then used for 
Methodist services, and the music-gallery for the pulpit, 
but the preacher (we are told) being disturbed greatly 
in his enthusiastic harangues was obliged to quit, and 
the premises were afterwards built on, or devoted to 
various purposes, with the exception of the dwelling- 
house, which (before 1786) was turned into a tavern, 
under the sign of the Fountain. The present Fountain 
public-house, erected on the site of the older Fountain 
in 1829, is No. 105 Lambeth Walk, nearly opposite 
Old Paradise Street (formerly Paradise Row). The 
Wells themselves, though long closed, were still in 
existence in 1829, but a house was subsequently built 
over them. 

Brayley and Man tell (Surrey ^ iii. 400) writing about 
1 841, say that part of the grounds continued "long 
within memory" to be used as a tea-garden. 

[Nichols's Paris/; of Lambeth (1786), p. 65, fF. ; Gent, Mag, 181 3» 
pt. 2, p. 556 ; Manning and Bray, Surrey^ iii. 468 ; Brayley and 
Man tell, Surrey y iii. 399, fF. ; Allen's Lambethy p. 346, fF. ; Walford, 
vi. 389]. 

1 Lambeth Wells are marked in the map of 1755 m Stow's 


Marble Hall was situated on the Thames, at the 
spot afterwards occupied by the southern abutment of 
Vauxhall Bridge. Part of the road to the bridge now 
occupies the site. 

Joseph Crosier, the proprietor in 1740, "enlarged, 
beautified and illuminated " the gardens,^ and built a 
Long Room facing the river, which was opened in May 
1740, and used for dancing during the spring and 

From circ. 175 2- 1756 the proprietor was Naphthali 
Hart,^ teacher of music and dancing, who' held assem- 
blies at Marble Hall in the season, devoting his ener- 
gies in the winter to Hart's Academy, Essex House, 
Essex Street, Strand, where (as his advertisements state) 
" grown gentlemen are taught to dance a minuet and 
country dances in the modern taste, and in a short 
time." " Likewise gentlemen are taught to play on 
any instrument, the use of the small Sword and Sped- 
roon." " At the same place is taught musick, fencing, 
French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, High German, 
Low Dutch, Navigation, or any other part of the 
Mathematicks." " A sprightly youth is wanted as an 

1 They were of smaller extent than the Cumberland Gardens, 
their river-side neighbour situated a little further south. 

2 One account calls him Nathan Hart. 


In the spring of 1756 Marble Hall was opened as 
a coffee house and tavenn, but little appears to be 
known of it after this date, though it was in existence 
till about August 18 13, when the abutment of Vauxhall 
Bridge on the Surrey side was begun. 

[Advertisements in " Public Gardens " collection in Guildhall 
Library, London ; Manning and Bray, Surrey ^ iii. 484, and map, 
p. 526 ; Allen's Lambeth^ 368 ; Walford, vi. 339.] 



(Originally Smith's Tea-Gardens) 

These small gardens, about one acre and a half in 
extent, were pleasantly situated on the south bank of 
the Thames, immediately to the south of Vauxhall 
Bridge (built 1 8 ii-i 8 1 6). Under the name of Smith's 
Tea-Gardens they were probably in existence some 
years previous to 1779. "A Fete Champetre, or 
Grand Rural Masked Ball," with illuminations in the 
garden and the rooms, was advertised to take place on 
22 May, 1779, at 10 p.m., the subscription tickets 
being one guinea. 

About May 1784 the gardens were taken by Luke 
Reilly, landlord of the Freemasons' Tavern in Great 
Queen Street, who changed the name to the Cumberland 
(or Royal Cumberland) Gardens.^ At this time they 
were open in the afternoon and evening, and visitors to 
Vauxhall Gardens sometimes had refreshments there in 
the arbours and tea-room while waiting for Vauxhall to 
open ; or adjourned thither for supper when tired of 
the larger garden. 

In August 1796 a silver cup given by the proprietor 
was competed for on the river by sailing boats. In 

^ "Riley's Gardens, Vauxhall," mentioned in Trusler's London 
Adviser^ I'J^^^ are doubtless identical with Reilly*s Cumberland 


1797 a ten years' lease of the gardens and tavern was 
advertised to be sold for j^ 1,000. 

From 1 800 to 1 825 the gardens were much frequented 
by dwellers in the south of London. Between three 
and four o'clock in the morning of May 25, 1825, the 
tavern was discovered to be on fire. The engines of 
Vauxhall Gardens and of the various Insurance Offices 
came on the scene, but the fire raged for more than an 


hour, and the tavern and the ball-room adjoining were 
completely destroyed and the plantation and garden 
greatly injured. In October of the same year the 
property on the premises was sold by the lessors under 
an execution and at that time the gardens were, it would 
seem, finally closed.^ 

* In the Picture af London for 1819 the Cumberland Gardens 
arc named in the lisc of places of London amusement, but it is 
probable that this entrj- has been inadvertently copied from a 
previous edition (1823) of the work. Cp. Allen, Lambeth (1827). 
P- 379- 


The South Lambeth Water Works occupied the site 
for many years and the Phoenix Works of the South 
Metropolitan Gas Company are now on the spot.^ 

[Newspaper cuttings in W. Coll. ; Walford, vi. 389, 449 ; Timbs, 
Curiosities of London (1868), p. 18, and Club Life^ ii. 261 ; Picture 
of London^ 1802, 1823 and 1829 ; the Courier for 25 and 26 May, 
1825 ; Allen, Lambethy p. 379.] 


"Cumberland Gardens, &c." A view by moonlight of the 
waterside entrance to the gardens. Undated (f/>f. 1800?). W. 

The gardens are well marked in Horwood's Pian^ D. 1799. 

1 Timbs {Curiosities of London y 1868, p. 18) says that Price's 
Candle Manufactory occupied the site, but in the Post Office 
Directory map of 1858 the "Phoenix Gas Works" are marked 
immediately south of Vauxhall Bridge and the Candle Works still 
further south, />., beyond the Vauxhall Creek which formed the 
southern boundary of the gardens. 


§ I. 1661-1728 

These, the most famous of all the London pleasure 
gardens, were known in their earliest days as the New 
Spring Garden at Vauxhall, and continued till late in 
the eighteenth century to be advertised as Spring 

The Spring Garden was opened to the public shortly 
after the Restoration, probably in 1 661.2 j^ ^^s a 

^ In the advertisements the name Vauxhall Gardens first appears 
in 1786, but many years before that date the place was often 
popularly known as Vauxhall Gardens. 

2 The place was at first generally called The New Spring 
Garden. Cunningham {Handbook ^ Z^/r^(p/r, s.v. " Vauxhall Gar- 
dens'') and other modern writers suppose that it was called New 
to distinguish it from the old Spring Garden at Charing Cross> 
and this view seems to receive some countenance from a passage in 
Evelyn's Fumifugium^ 1661, quoted by Cunningham. It must be 
borne in mind, however, that there existed at Vauxhall shortly 
after the Restoration, two Spring Gardens which seem to have been 
distinguished as the Old and New. This appears very distinctly 
from the following passage in Pepys, under date 29 May, 1662 : — 
"Thence home and with my wife and the two maids and the 
boy took the boat, and to Fox-hall, where I had not been a great 
while. To the Old Spring Garden, and there walked long, and the 
wenches gathered pinks. Here we staid, and seeing that we could 
not have anything to eate but very dear, and with long stay, we 
went forth again without any notice taken of us, and so we might 
have done if we had had anything. Thence to the new one> 
where I never was before, which much exceeds the other ; and 


prettily contrived plantation, laid out with walks and 
arbours : the nightingale sang in the trees ; wild roses 
could be gathered in the hedges, and cherries in the 
orchard. The Rotunda, the Orchestra, and the 
Triumphal Arches, distinctive features of the later 
Vauxhall, were then non-existent, and the proprietor's 
house from which refreshments were supplied was 
probably the only building that broke the charm of its 
rural isolation. It was a pleasant place to walk in, and 
the visitor might spend what he pleased, for nothing 
was charged for admission. It soon became one of the 
favourite haunts of Pepys, who first visited it on 29 
May 1662. On hot summer days, he would take 
water to Foxhall with Deb and Mercer and his wife, 
to stroll in the garden alleys, and eat a lobster or a 
syllabub. On one day in May (29, 1666) he found 
two handsome ladies calling on Mrs. Pepys. He was 
burdened with Admiralty business — " but. Lord ! to 
see how my nature could not refrain from the tempta- 
tion, but I must invite them to go to Foxhall, to Spring 

In a few years the Spring Garden became well known. 

here we also walked, and the boy crept through the hedge and 
gathered abundance of roses, and after a long walk, passed out of 
doors as we did in the other place." 

Somewhat earlier (2 July, 1661), Evelyn in his Diary has the 
entry " I went to see the New Spring Garden at Lambeth, a pretty 
contrived plantation." This probably, if not quite certainly (for 
compare the mention in Evelyn's Fumifugium noticed above), refers 
to Vauxhall Gardens. Monconys, the French traveller (1663), 
briefly describes "Les Jardins du Printemps " at Lambeth, but it 
can hardly be made out whether he is alluding to the garden called 
by Pepys the Old Spring Garden at Vauxhall or to the New Spring 
Garden, />., Vauxhall Gardens (cp. Tanswcll's Lambeth^ p. 181). 
The supposed site of the Old Spring Garden at Vauxhall (or 
Lambeth) is indicated in a map in Manning and Bray's Surreyy iii. 
p. 526 (cp. Walford, vi. 340). The statement of Aubrey and Sir 
John Hawkins, usually accepted by modern writers, that Sir Samuel 
Morland occupied in 1675 a house on the site of Vauxhall Gardens, 
is evidently erroneous (cp. Vauxhall Papers^ No. 4, p. 28). 


Fine people came thither to divert themselves and the 
citizen also spent his holiday there, "pulling oft 
cherries [says Pepys] and God knows what." The 
song of the birds was charming, but from about 1667 
more sophisticated harmony was furnished by a harp, 
some fiddles, and a Jew's trump. About this time the 
rude behaviour of the gallants of the town began 
to be noted at the Spring Garden. Gentlemen like 
** young Newport" and Harry Killigrew, "a rogue 
newly come back out of France, but still in disgrace at 
our Court," would thrust themselves into the supper- 
arbours and almost seize on the ladies, " perhaps civil 
ladies," as Pepys conjectures. ** Their mad talk [he 
adds] did make my heart ake," though he himself, at a 
later time, was found at the gardens eating and drinking 
with Mrs. Knipp, " it being darkish." 

During the last thirty years of the seventeenth 
century, the Spring Garden, if less perturbed by the 
Killigrews and Newports, was not a little notorious as a 
rendezvous for fashionable gallantry and intrigue. 
" 'Tis infallibly some intrigue that brings them to 
Spring Garden " says Lady Fancyful in * The Provoked 
Wife' (1697), and Tom Brown (^Amusements^ 1700, 
p. 54) declares that in the close walks of the gardens 
** both sexes meet, and mutually serve one another as 
guides to lose their way, and the windings and turnings 
in the little Wildernesses are so intricate, that the most 
experienced mothers have often lost themselves in 
looking for their daughters." It is not hard to picture 
Mrs. Frail ** with a man alone " at Spring Garden ; 
Hippolita eating a cheese-cake or a syllabub "with 
cousin," and the gallant of Sedley's *Bellamira' (1687) 
passing off on Thisbe the fine compliments that he had 
already tried on " the flame-coloured Petticoat in New 
Spring Garden." 

On the evening of 17 May, 171 1, Swift (it is inter- 
esting to note) visited the gardens with Lady Kerry 


and Miss Pratt, " to hear the nightingales."^ The visit 
of Addison's Sir Roger in the spring of 17 12 is classicaL^ 
**We were now arrived at Spring Garden, which is 
exquisitely pleasant at this time of year. When I 
considered the fragrancy of the walks and bowers, with 
the choirs of birds that sung upon the trees, and the 
loose tribe of people that walked under their shades, I 
could not but look upon the place as a kind of 
Mahometan Paradise." You must understand, says the 
Knight, there is nothing in the world that pleases a 
man in love so much as your nightingale. " He here 
fetched a deep sigh, and was falling into a fit of musing, 
when a mask, who came behind him, gave him a gentle 
tap upon the shoulder, and asked him if he would 
drink a bottle of mead with her." The old Knight 
bid the baggage begone, and retired with his friend 
for a glass of Burton and a slice of hung beef. He 
told the waiter to carry the remainder to the one-legged 
waterman who had rowed him to Foxhall, and, as he 
left the garden animadverted upon the morals of the 
place in his famous utterance .on the paucity of nightin- 

In 1726 the Spring Garden is singled out as one of 
the London sights,^ but it would seem that it had 
fallen into disrepute, and that fresh attractions and a 
management less lax were now demanded.* 

1 Swift to Stella^ 17 May, 171 1. 

2 The Spectator^ 20 May, 171 2, No. 383. As notices of the 
Spring Garden are rare at this period, the following advertisement 
may be worth quoting : — "Lost in Fox Hall, Spring Garden, on 
the 29th past a little Spaniel Dog, Liver Coloured and white 
long Ears, a Peak down his Forehead, a small Spot on each knee " 
{The Postman^ May 3-6, 171 2). The pleasant walks of the Spring 
Garden are referred to in 1714 in Thoresby's Diary^ ii. 215. 

^ ji New Guide to London (1726). Guildhall Library, London. 

* Lock man in his Sketch of the Spring Gardens (1753 ?) praises 
Jonathan Tyers for having reformed the morals of the Spring 
Garden when he became proprietor in 1728. 



§ 2. I732-I767. 

In 1728 Mr. Jonathan Tyers, the true founder of 
Vauxhall Gardens, obtained from Elizabeth Masters a 
lease of the Spring Gardens for thirty years at an 
annual rent of ;^250, and by subsequent purchases (in 
1752 and 1758) became the actual owner of the estate. 
He greatly altered and improved the gardens, and on 
Wednesday 7 June 1732 opened Vauxhall with a 
Ridotto al fresco. The visitors came between nine and 
eleven in the evening, most of them wearing dominoes 
and lawyers' gowns, and the company did not separate 
till three or four the next morning. The later Vaux- 
hall numbered its visitors by thousands, but at this fete 
only about four hundred people were present, and the 
guard of a hundred soldiers stationed in the gardens, 
with bayonets fixed, was an unnecessary precaution. 
Good order prevailed, though a tipsy waiter put on a 
masquerading dress, and a pick-pocket stole fifty 
guineas from a visitor, " but the rogue was taken in the 
fact." A guinea ticket gave admission to this enter- 
tainment, which was repeated several times during the 

From about 1737 the Spring Gardens began to 
present certain features that long remained characteristic. 
The admission at the gate was one shilling, the regular 
charge till 1792, and silver tickets were issued admitting 
two persons for the season, which began in April or 

1 Several of the Vauxhall season tickets were designed for Tyers 
by Hogarth. They arc engraved in Nichols's Lambeth^ pi. xv. 
p. 100, and in Wilkinson's Londina lllustrata, A good though not 
complete collection of Vauxhall tickets is in the British Museum, 
including the series of silver tickets brought together by Mr. 
Edward Hawkins. Tyers presented Hogarth as a return for his 
services with a gold ticket, inscribed in perpetuam benefcii memoriam^ 
which was a free pass to the gardens for ever, Mrs. Hogarth had 
it after her husband's death, and in 1856 it was in the possession 


An orchestra containing an organ was erected in the 
garden, and the concert about this time lasted from five 
or six till nine. About 1758 this orchestra was replaced 
by a more elaborate ' Gothic ' structure " painted white 
and bloom colour " and having a dome surmounted by 
a plume of feathers. The concert was at first instru- 
mental, but in 1745 Tyers added vocal music, and 
engaged Mrs. Arne, the elder Reinhold, and the famous 
tenor, Thomas Lowe, who re- 
mained the principal singer at 
Vauxhall till about 1763. 

On the opening day of the 
season of 1737 "there was (we 
read) a prodigious deal of good 
company present," and by the 
end of the season Pinchbeck was 
advertising his New Vauxhall 
Fan with a view of the walks, 
the orchestra, the grand pavilion, 
and the organ. 

The proprietor was fortunate 
in the patronage of Frederick 
Prince of Wales, who had at- 
tended the opening RIdotto and often visited Vauxhall 
till his death in 1751.* On 6 July, 1737, for instance, 
His Royal Highness with several ladies of distinction 
and noblemen of his household came from Kew by water 
to the Gardens, with music attending. The Prince 
walked in the Grove, commanded several airs and 
retired after supping in the Great Room. 

Of fashionable patronage Vauxhall had, indeed, no 

of Mr. F. Gye who bought it for £io (cp. Nightingale in Ttf 
Numismatic Chronicle, vol. xviii {1856), p. 97). In 1737 the season 
tickets admitting two persons cost one guinea ; in 17+1 they were 
twenty-live shillings ; in 1748, two guineas, 

■-* * In honour of Frederick, Tyers constructed the "Prince's 
Pavilion " at the western end of the Gardens facing the orchestra. 
U 2 





lack till a very late pericxi of its existence ; but the 
place was never exclusive or select, and at no other 
London resort could the humours of every class of the 
community be watched with greater interest or amuse- 
ment. " Even Bishops (we are assured) have been seen 
in this Recess without injuring their Character." To 
us, some of its entertainments seem insipid and the 
manners and morals of its frequenters occasionally 

?[uestionable, but the charm of the place for our fore- 
athers must have been real, or Vauxhall would hardly 
have found a place in our literature and social history. 
The old accounts speak of Spring Gardens not only 
with naive astonishment, but with positive affection. 
** The whole place " (to borrow the remark, and the 
spelling, of a last century writer) " is a realisation of 
Elizium." One of the paintings in the gardens repre- 
sented "Two Mahometans gazing in wonder at the 
beauties of the place." Farmer Colin, after his week's 
trip in town (1741) returned to his wife full of the 
wonderful Spring Gardens : — 

Oh, Mary ! soft in feature, 

I've been at dear Vauxhall ; 
No paradise is sweeter. 

Not that they Eden call. 

Methought, when first I entered, 
Such splendours round me shone, 

Into a world I ventured. 
Where rose another sun : 

While music, never cloying, 

As skylarks sweet, I hear : 
The sounds I*m still enjoying, 

They'll always soothe my ear. 

The account of England's Gazetteer or 1751 is 
naturally more prosaic, but takes the exalted tone 
that characterises the old descriptions of the gardens : 
— " This (Fox-hall) is the place where are those 


called Spring Gardens, laid out in so grand a taste 
that they are frequented in the three summer months 
by most of the nobility and gentry then in and near 
London ; and are often honoured with some of the 
royal family, who are here entertained, with the sweet 
song of numbers of nightingales, in concert with the 
best band of musick in England. Here are fine pavilions, 
shady groves, and most delightful walks, illuminated 
by above one thousand lamps, so disposed that they all 
take fire together, almost as quick as lightning, and 
dart such a sudden blaze as is perfectly surprising. 
Here are among others, two curious statues of Apollo 
the god, and Mr. Handel the master of musick ; and 
in the centre of the area, where the walks terminate, is 
erected the temple for the musicians, which is encom- 
passed all round with handsome seats, decorated with 
pleasant paintings, on subjects most happily adapted 
to the season, place and company." 

The usual approach to the gardens until about 1750, 
when it became possible to go by coach, was by water. 
At Westminster and Whitehall St^rs barges and boats 
were always in waiting during the evening. Sir John, 
from Fenchurch Street, with his lady and large family, 
came on board attended by a footman bearing provisions 
for the voyage. The girls chatter about the last city- 
ball, and Miss Kitty, by her mamma's command, sings 
the new song her master has taught her. Presently, 
** my lady grows sick " and has recourse to the citron 
wine and the drops. At the Temple Stairs a number 
of young fellows. Templars and others, hurry into the 
boats, and Mr. William, the prentice, takes the water 
with Miss Suckey, his master's daughter. The deep- 
ness of their design is an inexhaustible fount of merri- 
ment, for she is supposed to be gone next door to drink 
tea, and he to meet an uncle coming from the country.^ 

^ This description is adapted from the Scots Magazine for 
July 1739. 


More refined would be the party of Mr. Horatio 
Walpole, in a bai^e, " with a boat of French horns 
attending," or (at a later date) of Miss Lydia Melford, 
who describes how " at nine o'clock in a charming 
moonlight evening we embarked at Ranelagh for 
Vauxhall, in a wherry so light and slender that we 
looked like so many fairies sailing in a nutshell." The 
pleasure of the voyage was marred by the scene on 
landing, for, although the worthy beadles of the gardens 
were present at the waterside to preserve order, there 
was at all periods on landing at 
Vauxhall Stairs "a terrible con- 
fusion of wherries," " a crowd of 
people bawling, and swearing, 
and quarrelling," and a parcel, 
of ugly fellows running out 
into the water to pull you 
violently ashore. But you paid 
your shilling at the gate, or 
showed your silver ticket, and 
then passed down a dark passage 
into the full blaze of the gardens, 
lit with their thousand lamps.^ 
This was the great moment, as 
every Vauxhal I visitor from first to 
last, has testified. An impressionable young lady^ found 
herself dazzled and confounded by the variety of the 
scene : — " Image to yourself. ... a spacious garden, 
part laid out in delightful walks, bounded with high 
hedges and trees, and paved with gravel ; part exhibiting 
a wonderful assemblage of the most picturesque and 
striking objects, pavilions, lodges, groves, grottos, 
lawns, temples, and cascades ; porticos, colonnades, and 

1 The lamps about the middle of the eighteenth century were 
about 1,000-1,500 in number; they afterwards greatly exceeded 
this total. 

2 Smollett's Humphry Clinler. 


rotundas ; adorned with pillars, statues, and paintings ; 
the whole illuminated with an infinite number of lamps, 
disposed in difFerent figures of suns, stars and con- 
stellations ; the place crowded with the gayest company, 
ranging through those blissful shades, or supping in 
diflFerent lodges on cold collations, enlivened with mirth, 
freedom and good humour, and animated by an excellent 
band of music." Among the vocal performers you 
might perhaps have the happiness to hear the celebrated 

Mrs. whose voice was so loud and shrill that 

it would make your head ache " through excess of 

Goldsmith's Chinese Philosopher ^ — for foreigners 
always visited Vauxhall and even imitated it in Paris and 
at the Hague — received a similar impression on entering 
the gardens with Mr. Tibbs, the second-rate beau, and 
the pawnbroker's widow. " The lights everywhere glim- 
mering through the scarcely moving trees ; the full- 
bodied concert bursting on the stillness ot the night ; 
the natural concert of the birds in the more retired part 
of the grove vying with that which was formed by art ; 
the company gaily dressed, looking satisfaction, and the 
tables spread with various delicacies." 

For an hour or two the promenade and the concert 
were sufliciently amusing, and the crowd gathered 
before the orchestra, when Lowe or Miss Stevenson 
came forward with a new song. Music is the food of 
love, and the Vauxhall songs were (as Mr. Dobson has 
remarked) " abjectly sentimental." Incidents like the 
following described by an amorous advertiser in the 
London Chronicle for 5 August, 1758, must have been 
not uncommon at the gardens : — " A young lady who 
was at Vauxhall on Thursday night last in company 
with two gentlemen, could not but observe a young 
gentleman in blue and a gold laced hat, who being near 
her by the orchestra during the performance, especially 

1 Goldsmith's Citizen of the Worlds Letter Ixxi. 


the last song, gazed upon her with the utmost attention. 
He earnestly hopes (if unmarried) she will favour him 
with a line directed to A. D. at the bar of the Temple 
Exchange Coffee-house, Temple Bar, to inform him 
whether fortune, family and character may not entitle 
him upon a further knowledge, to hope an interest in 
her heart." 

At nine o'clock a bell rang, and the company hurried 
to the north side of the gardens to get a view of the 
Cascade. A curtain being drawn aside disclosed a land- 
scape scene illuminated by concealed lights. In the 
foreground was a miller's house and a waterfall. "The 
exact appearaiKe of water" was seen flowing down a 
declivity and turning the wheel of a mill : the water 
rose up in foam at the bottom, and then glided away. 
This simple exhibition was a favourite at Vauxhall, 
though it lasted but a few minutes and was spoken of 
contemptuously in The Connoisseur and other journals 
as the " tin cascade." ^ 

The concert was then resumed, and some hungry 
citizens and their families had already taken their seats 
in the supper boxes. During supper the citizen ^ expressed 
his wonder at the number of the lamps, and said that it 
must cost a great deal of money every night to light 
them all. The eldest Miss declared that for her part she 
liked the dark walk best of all because it was solentary. 
Little Miss thought the last song pretty, and said she 
would buy it if she could but remember the tune : and 
the old lady observed that there was a great deal of 
good company indeed, but the gentlemen were so rude 
that they perfectly put her out of countenance by 
staring at her through their spy-glasses. The more 
fashionable visitors arrived later and had their supper 
after the concert, often hiring a little band of French 

^ The cascade was varied in the course of years. In 1783 the 
background was a mountain view with palm trees. 
2 The Connoisseur^ 15 May, 1755. 


VAUXHALL, 1755. 


horns to play to them. An interesting supper-party 
might have been seen at the gardens on a June night in 
1750, Horace Walpole, Lady Caroline Petersham and 
" the little Ashe, or the Pollard Ashe as they call her." 
In the front of their box — one of the best boxes, of 
course, near the orchestra and in full view of the com- 
pany — sat Lady Caroline " with the vizor of her hat 
erect, and looking gloriously jolly and handsome.'* 
*' She had fetched (says Walpole) my brother Orford 
from the next box, where he was enjoying himself with 
his petite par tie ^ to help us to mince chickens. We 
minced seven chickens into a china dish, which Lady 
Caroline stewed over a lamp, with three pats of butter 
and a flagon of water, stirring and rattling and laughing, 
and we every minute expecting the dish to fly about 
our ears. She had brought Betty, the fruit girl, with 
hampers of strawberries and cherries from Rogers's, and 
made her wait upon us, and then made her sup by 
us at a little table. ... In short the whole air of our 
party was sufficient, as you will easily imagine, to take 
up the whole attention of the Gardens ; so much so, 
that from eleven o'clock till half an hour after one we 
had the whole concourse round our booth ; at last, they 
came into the little gardens of each booth on the side 
of ours, till Harry Vane took up a bumper and drank 
their healths, and was proceeding to treat them with 
still greater freedoms. It was three o'clock before we 
got home " (Walpole to Montague, 23 June, 1750). 

At this point it seems appropriate to furnish some 
details of the Vauxhall commissariat, and we cannot do 
better than transcribe an actual Bill of Provisions sold 
in the gardens about the year 1762.^ 

Burgundy, a bottle 6 o 

Champagne 8 o 

Frontiniac 6 o 

1 From A description ofVauxkall Gardens^ London, S. Hooper, 1 762. 


/. t^. 

Claret 5 o ' 

Old hock, with or without sugar 5 o 

Two pound of ice 6 

Rhenish and sugar 2 6 

Mountain 2 6 

Red port 20 

Sherry 2 o 

Cyder i o 

Table beer, a quart mug 4 

A chicken 2 6 

A dish of ham 10 

A dish of beef 10 

Salad 6 

A cruet of oil 4 

Orange or lemon 3 

Sugar for a bottle 6 

Ditto for a pint 3 

A slice of bread i 

Ditto of butter 2 

Ditto of cheese 2 

A tart I o 

A custard 4 

A cheese cake 4 

A heart cake 2 

A Shrewsbury cake 2 

A quart of Arrack 8 o 

When Tyers leased the gardens in 1728 there was in 
the dwelling-house a "Ham Room," so that this 
famous Vauxhall viand must have been already in 
request. The thinness of the slices was proverbial. 
A journal of 1762, for instance, complains that you 
could read the newspaper through a slice of Tyers's 
ham or beef. A certain carver, hardly perhaps 
mythical, readily obtained employment from the pro- 
prietor when he promised to cut a ham so thin that the 
slices would cover the whole garden like a carpet of red 
and white. 

The chickens were of diminutive size. Mr. Rose, 
the old citizen in ^he Connoisseur (15 May, 1755), 
found them no bigger than a sparrow and ex- 
claimed at every mouthful : "There goes twopence — 


there goes threepence — there goes a groat .... why- 
it would not have cost me above fourpence halfpenny 
to have spent my evening at Sot's Hole." 

Chicken, ham and beef remained the staple ot 
Vauxhall fare, but from about 1822 onwards the 
chicken cost four shillings instead of the half-<:rown, at 
which the old citizen had grumbled. Ham remained 
steady at one shilling a plate, and was cut no thicker. 
Thackeray speaks of " the twinkling boxes in which the 
happy feasters made believe to eat slices of almost 
invisible ham." 

In 1774 the same liquors were in demand, at the 
same prices as in 1762. In 1822 the claret sold was 
half a guinea a bottle and Frontiniac had risen from 
six shillings to ten shillings and sixpence a bottle. By 
this time, arrack — the famous rack punch that Jos. 
Sedley drank so freely — had risen from eight to twelve 
shillings a quart. In 1859 it was ten shillings a bowl, 
and rum and whisky, and of course, Guinness and Bass 
had taken their places in the bill. About 1802 Vaux- 
hall Nectar was a common summer beverage. It was " a 
mixture of rum and syrup with an addition of benzoic 
acid or flowers of benjamin" and was taken with water. 

Having thus given a general sketch of the company 
and amusements at Vauxhall, we must say something 
of the gardens themselves and of the character of the 
musical entertainments. 

The gardens ^ occupied about twelve acres and were 
laid out in gravel walks flanked by a number of fine 
trees. On passing through the principal entrance, that 
connected with the manager's house ^ at the western end 

^ Further details as to the form of the Gardens may be seen in 
the guides of Lockman and "Hooper." Mr. Austin Dobson 
(Eighteenth Century Vignettes^ ist series) gives the best modern 
account of the Vauxhall geography. 

2 From about 1827 the entrance chiefly used by the public was 
the "coach-entrance " at the corner of Kennington Lane. 

> < 

• • ■ 




of the gardens, the visitor beheld the Grand (or Great) 
Walk, planted on each side with elms and extending 
about nine hundred feet, the whole length of the 
garden, to the eastern boundary fence, beyond which 
could be seen pleasant meadows with the hay-makers at 
their task. At the eastern end of this walk there was 
a gilded statue of Aurora, afterwards (before 1762) 
replaced by a Grand Gothic Obelisk bearing the in- 
scription Spectator fastidtosus sibi moles tus. This latter 
erection would hardly have borne inspection by daylight, 
for, like much of the * architecture ' of Vauxhall, it 
consisted merely of a number of boards covered with 
painted canvas. 

Parallel to the Grand Walk was the South Walk with 
its three triumphal arches through which could be seen 
a painting of the ruins of Palmyra. 

A third avenue, the Grand Cross Walk, also contain- 
ing a painted representation of ruins, passed through the 
garden from side to side, intersecting the Grand Walk 
at right angles. This cross walk was terminated on 
the right by the Lovers' (or Druid's) Walk, and 
to the left were the Wildernesses and the Rural 

The lofty trees of the Lovers' Walk formed a 
verdant canopy in which the nightingales of Spring 
Gardens, the blackbirds, and the thrushes were wont to 
build. This was the principal of the Dark Walks so 
often mentioned in the annals of Vauxhall. In 1759 
complaints were made of the loose characters who 
frequented these walks, and in 1763 Tyers was com- 
pelled to rail them off. When Vauxhall opened for 
the season in 1764 some young fellows, about fifty in 
number, tore up the railings in order to lay the walks 

The Rural Downs, at least in the earlier days of 
Vauxhall, were covered with turf and interspersed with 
firs, cypresses and cedars. On one of the little emi- 


nences was a leaden statue of Milton ^ seated, listening 
to music, and at night-time the great Bard was illu- 
minated by lamps. Here were also the Musical Bushes 
where a subterraneous band used to play fairy music 
till about the middle of the eighteenth century when 
this romantic entertainment ceased, " the natural damp of 
the earth being found prejudicial to the instruments." 

The Wildernesses were formed by lofty trees and were 
(about 1753) the verdant abode of various "feathered 
minstrels, who in the most delightful season of the 
year ravish the ears of the company with their har- 

The orchestra, open in the front, stood, facing the 
west, in the centre of what was called The Grove, a 
quadrangle of about five acres formed by the Grand, 
Cross, and South Walks and by the remaining side of 
the garden. 

On each side of this quadrangle were the supper- 
boxes and pavilions, placed in long rows or arranged in 
a semicircular sweep. These were decorated, about 
1742, with paintings chiefly by Francis Hayman. 
Hogarth allowed his '* Four Times of the Day " to be 
copied by Hayman for the boxes, and is said to have 
given Tyers the idea of brightening Vauxhall with 
paintings. It is doubtful if any of the pictures in the 
boxes can be traced directly to his hand, though an 
undoubted Hogarth, " Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn '' 
was presented by the artist to Tyers and ^hung in the 
Rotunda. The pictures in the boxes chiefly represented 
scenes in popular comedies and a number of common 
sports and pastimes such as thq play of seesaw, the play 
of cricket, the humorous diversion of sliding on the ice, 
leap-frog, and the country dance round the maypole. 

^ This has been attributed to Roubillac, but Mr. Dobson thinks 
that it was probably by Henry Checre who made such leaden 
statues for gardens. The statue was cleared in 1779 o^ the bushes 
that had grown round it, and it was still in the gardens in 1 817. 


: ROOM), VAUXHALL, 1751. 


Some of the larger boxes, denominated temples and 
pavilions, were more elaborately designed and decorated. 
Such were the Temple of Comus (in the semi-circle of 
boxes on the left of the garden) and the Turkish Tent 
behind the orchestra. 

Roubillac's celebrated marble statue of Handel, as 
Orpheus, stood in various positions in the gardens 
(sometimes under cover) from 1738 to 1818.^ 

The principal structure was the Rotunda, entered 
through a colonnade to the left of the Grand Walk. 
It was a circular building, seventy feet in diameter, 
elegantly fitted up and containing an orchestra in which 
the band performed on wet evenings. When first 
opened it was known as the New Music Room or 
the Great Room, and in early days was nicknamed 
the Umbrella from the shape of the roof. With the 
Rotunda was connected a long room, known as the 
Saloon, or the Picture Room. This projected into 
the gardens, parallel to the Grove. 

Under Tyers's management the concert began at five 
or six and lasted till nine or ten. It consisted of 
sixteen pieces, songs alternating with sonatas and 
concertos. An overture on the organ, always formed 
part of the entertainment. Not much is known of the 
instrumental music, for the Vauxhall advertisements, 
until late in the eighteenth century, never gave the 
details of the programme. Arne, and Dr. John 
Worgan, (the Vauxhall organist) were the composers 
during this period. Valentine Snow, serjeant-trumpeter 
to the king, was a favourite about 1745, and Burney 
remarks that "his silver sounds in the open air, by 
having room to expand, never arrived at the ears of 
the audience in a manner too powerful or piercing." 

The songs consisted chiefly of sentimental ballads, 

^ In 1818 it was removed to the house of Dr. Jonathan Tyers 
Barrett in Duke Street, Westminster ; it was described lately (1894) 
as being in the possession of Mr. Alfred Littleton. 


and of a few more sprightly ditties, such as Miss 
Stevenson's song " You tell me I'm handsome " : — 

All this has been told me by twenty before. 
But he that would win me must flatter me more. 

The verse is highly conventional, but sometimes shows 
a glimmering of poetic form that raises it somewhat 
above the level of our own drawing-room baJlads. 
The average Vauxhall song seems to our ears suffici- 
ently thin and trivial, but on the lips of Lowe or Mrs. 
Weichsell, may easily have been successful. Of the 
popularity of the songs at the time, there can be no 
question. The magazines, especially T^he London 
Magaziney regularly published the words, and often 
the music, of " A new song sung at Vauxhall," and 
the contemporary collections of Vauxhall songs, such 
as T!he Warbler published at a shilling in 1756, were 

In the period 1 745-1 767, when the singers were few 
in number, the chief male vocalist was Thomas Lowe, 
who possessed an inexhaustible repertoire of Delias and 
Strephons which he sang with great applause from 
1745 till about 1763, when he entered on the manage- 
ment of the Marylebone Gardens.^ Mrs. Arne sang 
for a few years from 1745, and Miss Stevenson fre- 
quently circ. 1 748-1 7 5 8. Miss Isabella Burchell, 
better known as the Mrs. Vincent of Marykbone 
Gardens, sang at Vauxhall from 1751 to 1760. She 
was originally a milk-girl employed on Tyers's estate 
in Surrey, and it was through his instrumentality that 
she obtained instruction in music. 

In 1764, the chief singers were Vernon and Miss 
Brent, who belong rather to our next period. Miss 
Wright's "Thro' the wood, laddie," was popular in 

Jonathan Tyers died on i July, 1767. He had 

^ On Lowe, sec supra^ p. 5o,p. loi f., and p. 243 

7 Door ' Oj 

% Door 


amassed a large fortune and owned the estate of 
Denbies at Dorking, where he laid out a curious 
garden containing a hermitage, called the Temple of 
Death, and a gloomy valley of the Shadow of Death. 
In spite of these lugubrious surroundings this " Master- 
builder of Delight " retained his love for Vauxhall till 
the last, and shortly before his death had himself car- 
ried into the Grove to take a parting look at the Spring 

He was succeeded at Vauxhall by his two sons, 
Thomas and Jonathan. * Tom ' Tyers, as he was 
called by Dr. Johnson, with whom he was a favourite, 
had been bred to the law, but he was too eccentric and 
vivacious to confine himself to practice. " He, there- 
fore (says Boswell),ran about the world with a pleasant 
carelessness," amusing everybody by his desultory talk 
and abundance of anecdote. He furnished many songs 
for the gardens, but in 1785, sold his interest to his 
brother Jonathan's family. Jonathan was manager of 
Vauxhall from 1785 till his death in 1792. 

§ 3. 1768-1790. 

During this period the character of the entertain- 
ments of Vauxhall and the arrangement of the gardens 
themselves, underwent no very material changes,^ and 
people of all ranks frequented the place as of old. The 
singers, however, were more numerous, and there seems 
to have been a general tendency to stay late. In 1783, 
the concert began at eight and ended at eleven, and a 
London guide-book of 1786,^ states that the company 
at that time seldom left the garden till two in the 
morning, if the weather was fine. 

From about 177 2- 1778, a good deal of rowdyism 
appears to have disturbed the harmony of Vauxhall, 

^ As to the introduction of the covered walk see infra^ § 4. 
2 Trusler's London Adviser^ p. 163. 



though it must be said that the company under old 
Tyers had not always been distinguished for urbanity. 
The rude treatment to which Fielding's Amelia was 
subjected at the gardens (r/rr. 1752), can hardly have 
been an isolated occurrence^ and in the summer of 1748 
a party of ladies, apparently of good position, used to 
crow like cocks when visiting Vauxhall, while their 
friends of the male sex responded with an ass's bray. 
One Mrs. Woolaston, attained special proficiency in 
her imitations.^ 

At this time (177 2- 1778), it was the custom to 
violently emphasize the importance of the last night of 
the season. Young Branghton, in Evelina {circ. 1778), 
declares that the last night at Vauxhall -is the best of 
any ; " there's always a riot — and there the folks run 
about — and then there's such squealing and squalling ! 
and there all the lamps are broke, and the women run 
skimper scamper." ^ 

From the newspapers we learn that on the 4th of 
September, 1774, "upwards of fifteen foolish Bucks 
who had amused themselves by breaking the lamps at 
Vauxhall, were put into the cage there by the proprie- 
tors, to answer for the damage done. They broke 
almost every lamp about the orchestra, and pulled the 
door leading up to it off the hinges." 

The Dark Walk and Long Alleys were also not 
without their terrors. Evelina, who had unwittingly 
strayed thither, was surrounded by a circle of impudent 
young men, and the Branghton girls were also detained,, 
though they had gone more with their eyes open. 
" Lord, Polly," says the eldest, " suppose we were to 
take a turn in the Dark Walks ? " " Ay, do," an- 

^ Notes and Queries^ 6th scr. ix. (1884), p. 208. 

2 Evelina^ Letter xlvi. Cp. Th Macaroni and theatrical Magazine 
for September 1773, p. 529, which gives a plate showing "the 
Macaroney Beaus and Bells in an Uproar, or the last Evening at 
Vauxhall Gardens " (W. Coll.). 




swered she, " and then we'll hide ourselves, and then 
Mr. Brown will think we are lost." A quarrel in 
public between two angry gentlemen was also a not 
uncommon incident, and the afFair sometimes assumed 
the heroic jroportions of a Vauxhall " AfFray." For 
example, one day in June 1772 two gentlemen. Cap- 
tain Allen and Mr. Kelly, created a scene. The words 
" scoundrel '* and " rascal " were heard, and Allen who 
had a sword would have overpowered Kelly who had 
only his cane, if the bystanders had not interposed.^ 
But the Vauxhall AfFray par excellencCy was the afFair 
of Bate, " the fighting parson," and Mr. Fitzgerald.*^ 
The Rev. Sir Henry Bate Dudley, Bart, (as he after- 
wards was) was at Vauxhall on the evening of 23 July, 
1773, in company with Mrs. Hartley and some friends. 
A party of gentlemen sat down near them, and made a 
deliberate attempt to stare the beautiful actress out of 
countenance. Captain Crofts and Mr. George Robert 
Fitzgerald were among the offenders, or at any rate 
took their part. Bate expostulated loudly with Crofts, 
and a crowd gathered round. The next day Bate and 
Crofts met at the Turk's Head Coffee House in the 
Strand, where matters were being peaceably adjusted, 
when Fitzgerald appeared on the scene insisting on 
satisfaction for his friend Captain Miles, who wanted 
to box the parson. Bate declared that he had offered 
no insult to Miles, but ultimately the party adjourned 
to the front dining-room of the Spread Eagle Tavern 
close by, and there in fifteen minutes Bate had com- 
pletely beaten Miles. A few days afterwards Bate 
discovered that the supposed Captain Miles was Fitz- 
gerald's footman, esteemed an expert bruiser. Bate 

1 The Gazeteer and New Daily Advertiser ^ 29 June, 1772. - 

2 Tke Vauxhall Affray^ or the Macaronies defeated^ London, 1773 ; 
Westminster Magazine for September 1773, p. 558 ; The Macaroni 

and Theatrical Magazine for August 1773, where there is a copper- 
plate showing the parson fighting the footman (W. Coll.). 

X 2 


published an account of the affair in the papers, and 
Fitzgerald's conduct was generally condemned, though 
he tried to make out that the footman had only pre- 
tended to be beaten. A further quarrel arising out of 
this incident led to a meeting between Fitzgerald and 
a Captain Scawen in Flanders. As a finishing touch 
to our picture of the Vauxhall manners of the period, 
we must recall an evening in August 1782, when the 
Prince of Wales and a party of gay friends -visited the 
gardens. When the music was over the Prince was 
recognised by the company, and being surrounded, 
crushed, and pursued, had to beat a hasty retreat. The 
ladies followed the Prince, the gentlemen pursued the 
ladies ; the curious and the mischievous increased 
the tumult, and in a few minutes the boxes were 
deserted, the lame overthrown, and the well-dressed 

On May 10, 1769, a Ridotto al fresco was given at 
which not less than ten thousand people are said to 
have been present. The Rotunda was lit with nearly 
five thousand glass lamps, and a platform under an 
awning was laid down in the gardens for dancing. The 
fancy dresses were not numerous, and Walpole, who 
was there with his friend Conway, only walked twice 
round, and was glad to get out of the mob and go 
home. Some years later, on 29 May, 1786, there was 
another Ridotto to celebrate (approximately) the 
Jubilee of Vauxhall Gardens. Fourteen thousand ad- 
ditional lamps were displayed, and most of the com- 
pany appeared in dominoes, as at the original Ridotto 
of 1732. 

During this period (1768-1790) the principal tenor 
was Vernon, who had taken Lowe's place in 1764. His 
repertoire appears to have been somewhat less conven- 
tional than that of his predecessor, and his gay and 

1 British Magazine^ 6 August, 1782, 

j^<i^ >^S^«SM//J^!!^<»rLi@i&«i!^(:^^^ G^i^4aL 


energetic manner rendered him popular in such songs as 
the " English Padlock/* the ** Crying and Laughing " 
Song, and " Cupid's recruiting Sergeant." He was a 
constant singer atVauxhall till the end of the season 
ofiySi. In 1783 Arrowsmith, a young tenor, pupil 
of Michael Arne, aspired with some success to take 
Vernon's place. He sang till 1785, but in the summer 
of next year (1786) a more celebrated tenor, Charles 
Incledon, then only twenty-two, made his appearance, 
and sang till 1790. 

The principal female singers were Mrs. Baddeley 
(about 1768) ; Mrs. Weichsell (i 769-1 784) ; Miss 
Jameson (1770-1774) ; Miss Wewitzer (circ. 1773); 
Mrs. Hudson (1773-1776) ; Mrs. Wrighten (1773- 
1786); Mrs. Kennedy (1782-1785) ; Miss Leary 
(1786-1789) ; Mrs. Martyr, the actress (1786- 1 789). 
Of these vocalists, Mrs. Baddeley and Mrs. Kennedy 
were the well-known actresses. The latter possessed a 
powerful voice, and often assumed male parts at Covent 
Garden. Mrs. Wrighten had a vivacious manner and 
a bewitching smile, and her ** Hunting Song " was 
popular. Mrs. Weichsell, the mother of Mrs. 
Billington the actress, was an especial favourite at 
the gardens. A magazine poet of 1775^ celebrates 
her among the best Vauxhall singers . — 

Sweet Weichsell who warbles her wood-note so wild, 
That the birds are all hushed as they sit on each spray. 
And the trees nod applause as she chaunts the sweet lay. 

In 1774 James Hook was appointed organist and 
composer, and remained at Vauxhall Gardens till 1820, 
exerting his facile, if not very distinguished powers, as 
a music-writer. In 1775 Catches and Glees were for 
the first time introduced into the concert. On an even- 
ing of July of this year Lord Sandwich and a party of 

1 Westminster Magazine ^ May 1775. 


friends amused themselves by starting some Catches and 
Glees of their own, which they sang from their box near 
the orchestra. General Haile, who sat in the next box, 
then requested a young lady who was with him to sing 
a song, which the band obligingly accompanied, to the 
great delight of the audience.^ A favourite catch, 
**They say there is an echo here," was performed in 
1780, by two sets of singers and musicians, the stanzas 
of the principal band being answered by an invisible 
band of voices and wind instruments stationed over 
the Prince's box at the bottom of the garden. 

In 1783 Barthelemon led the orchestra, and a band 
of drums and fifes, horns and clarionets, was introduced 
to perambulate the gardens after the regular concert. 
These supplementary bands generally formed part of 
the later Vauxhall entertainments. 

§4. 1791-1821. 

In 1792 the ordinary admission was raised from one 
shilling to two shillings, and Grand Galas and Mas- 
querades became features of Vauxhall. ^ On 31 May, 
1792, there was a successful masked ball, and the 
gardens were a blaze of light. Amid a crowd of Hay- 
makers, Punches, Chimney Sweeps, and Sailors, Mun- 
den, the actor, attracted attention in the character of a 
deaf old man. 

People of all classes took part in these masqueradings. 
Deputy Gubbins went as a very fat Apollo, and his 
spouse, a portly matron, as Diana with a huge quiver. 
Master Gubbins was Cupid. But these characters were 
misunderstood by the newspaper-reporter, who described 

1 Middlesex Journaly July 23-25, 1775. 

2 On the gala nights the charge was three shilling?. 


the Deputy as the Fat Knight, accompanied by his lady 
as Mother Quickly, and by the hope of all the Gubbinses 
as an awkward Toxophilite.^ 

The *' Dashalls " and " Tallyhos " sometimes caused 
trouble, and a newspaper of 1812, describes how at a 
ball of this year, a crowd of masks followed " Mr. 
Cockadoodle Coates" with crowing and exclamations 
of " Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo.'* 

An imposing festival took place on 20 June, 18 13, to 
celebrate the Battle of Vittoria and Wellington's vic- 
tories. The Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Dukes 
were present at the banquet. 

During this period (1791-1821) some capable voca- 
lists made their appearance at Vauxhall ; Darley (who 
had already sung at the gardens in 1789) ; Mrs. Frank- 
lin (who had previously appeared as Miss Leary) ; 
Mrs. Mountain,^ the actress (1793); the well-known 
Charles Dignum (1794) and Mrs. Bland ^ the popular 
ballad-singer (1802). Dignum and Mrs. Bland re- 
mained Vauxhall favourites for some years.^ 

Fireworks, which had long before been usual at 
Cuper's Gardens, Marylebone Gardens, and Ranelagh, 
were not introduced at Vauxhall till 1798. From about 
1 8 13, they became a permanent institution. In i8i6> 
Mme. Saqui of Paris appeared at Vauxhall, and was the 
principal attraction for several seasons. A mast about 
sixty feet high was erected on the firework platform 
at the eastern end of the gardens, and from its top 
depended an inclined rope 350 feet long. At twelve 
o'clock a lady of muscular and masculine appearance, 

1 A burlesque account in the Bon Ton Magazine, June 1791, 
with plate (W. Coll.). 

2 Her husband, Mr. Mountain, was leader at Vauxhall from 

* On Mrs. Bland, see supra, p. 137 (White Conduit House). 

* Miss Tunstall, another singer, was in repute at the gardens 
about 1820. 

FAtsoy^V ywnt. thbatju . 

MV Martyr . 



bedecked with spangles and waving plumes, might be 
seen ascending this rope to the platform, amid a glare 

of blue flame. Her appearance was almost super- 
natural : — 

Amid the blaze of meteors seen on high, 

Etheria] Saqui seems to tread the sky ;! 

■ Skttehes from St. George's Fields (1821), ind s< 


Having now reached the highest point, she made her 
descent in a shower of Chinese Fire, and ** in the face of 
a tempest of fireworks." This exciting performance 
became a necessity at Vauxhall, and Saqui's feats were 
afterwards reproduced by Longuemare and Blackmore. 

At this period (circ. 1817) the newspapers describe 
the orchestra as a " pagoda of lustre," and the covered 
walks as arches of fire. The songs, and the music, and 
the fireworks were the attractions till about one o'clock, 
when the ordinary visitors withdrew. But the noisy 
and the dissipated sometimes kept up the fun with reels 
and waltzes till nearly four in the morning.^ 

We have now wandered far from the old Spring 
Garden of Jonathan Tyers and the later history of 
Vauxhall must, in the present volume, be very briefly 

In the gardens themselves, some important changes 
had already been effected. In 1786, a Supper Room 
had been added to the left of the Rotunda, and in 
1810-11 many of the trees in the Grove were cut 
down, and part of the Grand Walk and two sides of 
the Grove were covered in by a vaulted colonnade sup- 
ported by cast-iron pillars. This colonnade was bril- 
liantly lit with lamps, and was convenient in the wet 
weather that was proverbial at Vauxhall, but it greatly 
tended to destroy what Walpole calls, "the garden- 
hood " of the place. 2 The last of the old trees of 
Tyers's period is said to have survived till 1805. 

In 1 82 1 Vauxhall Gardens passed out of the pos- 
session of the Tyers family. After the death of 

1 In 1806 the opening of the gardens on Saturdays was dis- 
continued on account of the disorderly persons staying on late into 
Sunday morning. From about this time the gardens were for a long 
period usually open on three days of the week only. 

2 Already in 1769 an awning or other covering was placed over 
one of the walks, and "covered walks" are afterwards alluded to. 
The permanent colonnade was not erected till 18 10. 


OJSr«.^^«^ //yi^Xt*!- PH./^L{^/C^ of <^^^14^/W/. 



Jonathan Tyers the younger in 1792, his place was 
taken as proprietor and manager by his son-in-law Bryan 
Barrett, who died in 1809. Barrett's son, George 
Rogers Barrett then acted as manager of the gardens 
for many years. In 1821, the property was purchased 
from the Barrett family for j^ 30,000 ^ by T. Bish (the 
lottery-office keeper), F. Gye, and R. Hughes. 

§ 5. 1822-1859. 

The gardens opened ^ for the season of 1822 on 
June 3rd, and for the first time received the appellation 
of The Royal Gardens, Vauxhall. This change in the 
name was made with the approval of George IV. who 
as Prince of Wales had been a regular frequenter of the 
gardens and had received from a grateful management 
public recognition of his patronage. In 1791, a gallery 
had been constructed in the gardens and named after 
him.^ This was the shrine of an allegorical trans- 
parency portraying him leaning against a horse held by 
Britannia. Minerva bore his helmet ; Providence fixed 
his spurs, and Fame blew a trumpet and crowned him 
with laurel. The good-natured Darley came to the 
front of the orchestra (August 1792) and sang in his 
best manner, " The Prince of the People " : — 

Endow'd with each virtue, the dignified Youth, 

Ere Reason enlightened his mind, 
Burst forth on the world in example and truth, 

The boast and delight of Mankind. 

The gardens had now (1822) completely assumed 
their nineteenth-century aspect and Vauxhall, lit with 
" 20,000 additional lamps," began to supply a constant 
succession of variety entertainments. 

^ Some accounts say ^^2 8,000. 

* Admission, three shillings and sixpence. 

* This Prince's Gallery was burnt down in 1800. 


harlev in the orchestra at vauxhalu 


The Rotunda was decorated as an Indian Garden 
Room, and at a later date was fitted up with seats and 
boxes and used for the equestrian performances. In the 
Saloon (or Picture Room) adjoining, where historical 
pictures by Hayman were still hanging, was an exhibi- 
tion called by the erudite managers Heptaplasiesop- 
tron. On plates of glass ingeniously distributed 
manifold reflections were produced of revolving pillars, 
palm-trees, twining serpents, coloured lamps and a 

The old Cascade had been abolished about 1 8 1 6, and 
a stage for rope-dancing occupied its site (1822). A 
Submarine Cavern and a new exhibition of Waterworks 
appear to have covered the Rural Downs. 

At the eastern end of the garden was a building of 
wood and canvas representing a Hermit's Cottage, 
wherein might be seen — all in transparency — the Her- 
mit himself pursuing his studies by the aid of a lamp, a 
blazing fire and a brightly-shining moon. At this end 
of the gardens was the Firework Tower, where the fire- 
workers Hengler, Mortram and Southby were now 
(1822) at work, preparing for the ascent of Longue- 
mare, which was to take place at twelve o'clock a la 

The South Walk (so much of it at least as remained 
uncovered) was now known as the Firework Walk, and 
the three Triumphal Arches had disappeared. 

The Dark Walk of Vauxhall now began at the Sub- 
marine Cavern, passed along the left hand and eastern 
boundaries of the garden and terminated at the right 
hand end of the Grand Cross Walk, the last branch of 
it being thus identical with the Lovers' Walk of old 
days. The Cross Walk was now usually denominated 
the Chinese Walk from its being lit with Chinese 
lanterns. Four cosmoramas had taken the place of its 

The boxes and pavilions containing Hayman's paint- 


2 Ji'/f **»t{- Toifer 
3£iv^M Star- 

4Saui^iarr Cava 


s Slatur t^Miiton. 


M^d/AAOia/neitJied '7J^/^i/-«\Rooai 


19 Supper Jtc<)m. 



ings remained much as of old. Among other note- 
worthy features of the later Vauxhall was the gilded 
cockle-shell sounding-board over the orchestra (from 
1824); a new avenue called the Italian Walk (from 
about 1836), and the Neptune Fountain. 

In 1822 Ramo Samee, the Indian juggler and sword- 
swallower, made his appearance, and next year a Shadow 
Pantomime and Grey's Fantoccini were introduced. 
From this period, Vauxhall was enlivened or vulgarised 
by the performance of comic songs. Mallinson {circ, 
1823), W. H. Williams (from 1824), and J. W. Sharp 
(from 1846) being some of the best-known singers. 

In 1826 the admission was raised to four shillings, on 
account of the engagement of Braham and Miss Stephens 
and of Mme. Vestris, whose "Cherry Ripe" was popular. 
In 1827 the space in front of the firework tower was 
cleared of shrubs, and a representation of the Battle of 
Waterloo took place there. Cooke's stud and a thousand 
horse and foot soldiers engaged in this action. The 
"Waterloo" ground afterwards (1834) became the 
Polar Regions, and subsequently the space was covered 
by other scenic displays, including (1847) ^ view of 
Venice with " imitation water." 

In 1828 Ducrow's stud was engaged, and in the next 
year ballets became a feature. 

In 1 830-1 832 the musical director was Sir Henry 
Bishop, who composed operettas for the gardens, such 
as " The Sedan Chair," " The Bottle of Champagne," 
and the " Magic Fan." In the last-named Mrs. Way- 
lett and Paul Bedford took part. George Robinson, the 
alto, made Bishop's " My Pretty Jane " popular. On 
August 2, 1833, when a one shilling night was tried, 
upwards of 27,000 people paid for admission. 

The 19th of August, 1833, is notable in the Vauxhall 
annals as the benefit night of old Simpson, for more 
than thirty-six years Master of the Ceremonies at the 
gardens, and himself one of the sights and institutions. 


He was a man of short stature and his plain face was 
pitted with the smallpox, but his manner and dress 
made ample amends. He wore a shirt with an 
enormous frill, a coat of antique cut, and black silk 
knee-breeches and hose. In his uplifted left hand he 
carried his tasselled and silver-headed cane, and with 
his right raised his hat to every one he met, as a wel- 
come to the Royal Property. His habitual attitude has 
been immortalised by Cruikshank and he was exhibited 
(from 1833) in the gardens in coloured lamps — an 
immense effigy, forty-five feet high. Simpson's Vaux- 
hall Addresses and his letters to newspaper editors were 
masterpieces of florid humility. To the editor of The 
Times he wrote to say that he had given directions that 
the illustrious editor's " much-beloved family " were to 
be admitted " to any number " at the Vauxhall Juvenile 
Fetes — a communication which amused Thomas Barnes 
who had no children. Simpson died, almost in office, 
on 2 5 December, 1 8 3 ^ , after expressing a wish that the 
managers of the Royal Gardens would dispose as they 
deemed fit of his " humble body." Thackeray calls 
him " the gentle Simpson, that kind, smiling idiot." ^ 

In- 1836 the gardens were open in the daytime, but 
Vauxhall by daylight, as " Boz " observed, is " a porter- 
pot without porter ; the House of Commons without 
the Speaker ; a gas-lamp without gas." Ballooning 

1 Among the curious characters of Vauxhall Gardens must be 
noticed a youth named Joseph Leeming, who called himself " the 
Aeriel " and " the Paragon of Perfection," and offered himself for in- 
spection to artists and surgeons as a model of bodily perfection. On 
2 July, 1825, and on subsequent occasions he mingled with the 
other visitors at Vauxhall and created excitement by his extra- 
ordinary Spanish costume and by distributing three or four hundred 
"Challenges" to the people in front of the orchestra. One of 
these curious challenges is in my collection. It is a small card 
printed with the words " The Aeriel {sic) challenges the whole 
world to find a man that can in any way compete with him as 
such. No. — ." (cp. Hone's Every Day Book^ i. p. 1456, fF.). 


was the chief feature of these afternoon fetes.' On 
7 November, 1836, Charles Green, accompanied by 


ExtrttordinBry Moveltj'! 




ASCENT, 31 JULV, 1850. 

Monck Mason and Robert Hollond, M.P., ascended 
from the gardens at 1.30 p.m. in the balloon, after- 

' An earlier balloon ascent from Vauxhall Gardens by Garnerin 
in 180Z may be noted. 


wards named " the Nassau," and descended next morn- 
ing near Weilburg in the Duchy of Nassau after a 
voyage occupying eighteen hours.^ On 24 July, 1837, 
Green, Edward Spencer, and Robert Cocking ascended 
in a balloon with a parachute attached, and Cocking in 
descending in the parachute was killed. 

In 1839 ^^^ proprietorship of Gye and Hughes 
came to an end, and Vauxhall was closed in 1 840. The 
gardens were again open in July 1841 with Alfred 
Bunn as stage-manager. During this season Bunn and 
** Alfred Crowquill " published at the gardens their 
amusing series of Vauxhall Papers^ " a daily journal 
published nightly, every other evening, three times a 
week." 2 The Ravel Family and Ducrow's horseman- 
ship were among the attractions of this season, which 
came to an end on 8 September, when the announcement 
was made that Vauxhall would " positively close its 
doors for ever." 

On 9 September (1841) the gardens were offered for 
sale by auction, but were bought in at 20,000 pounds. 
The furniture and fittings were, however, disposed of at 
this time, notably, twenty-four of the paintings by 
Hayman, which realised sums from ^i los. to ^9 15s. 
Four busts of the celebrated Simpson were sold for 
half-a-crown apiece. 

From 1842 till the final closing of the gardens, 
galas, masquerades, and a great variety of entertainments 
were advertised in bold letters of many colours, but 
Vauxhall was now rapidly declining. In 1845, Musard 
conducted Promenade Concerts, and in that year and 

1 A detailed account of the voyage is given in Monck Mason's 
Aeronautica^ London, 1838. 

* The publication came to an end on 23 August, 1841. It 
consisted of sixteen parts, sixpence each. A set of these is in my 
collection. Mr. H. A. Rogers, of Stroud Green, has recently 
undertaken an interesting facsimile reprint of this scarce little 



during most of the years following, Mr. Robert Wardell 
was the lessee. In 1 846, gas lamps took the place of 

the oil lamps, and about this time the musicians in the 
orchestra ceased to wear the cocked hats that had long 
been their characteristic head-dress. In 1849, there was 


a Grand Venetian Carnival, and 6o,ooo lamps were 

In October 1853, when the annual license for the 
Royal Gardens was applied for, great compl^nts were 
made of the nuisance caused by the bals masques which 
lasted from 1 1 p.m. till 5 or 6 a.m., and were frequented 
by many disreputable characters. The license was re- 
newed on the somewhat easy conditions that the fire- 
works should not be let off after eleven, and that the 
Y 2 


gardens should close at three in the morning. In 1858, 
Mr. R. Duffel! was the director. Monster galas were 
ahnounced, and the gardens were opened on Sundays 
for a promenade. 

Monday, 25 July, 1859, witnessed the last en- 
tertainment at Vauxhall Gardens. One of the 
vocalists at the concert then given was Mr. Russell 
Grover, who died lately, in April 1896. After the 
concert and the equestrian performances in the Rotunda, 
dancing was continued till past midnight : the fireworks 
displayed the device Farewell for Ever^ and Vauxhall 
was closed. 

On 22 August following, the auctioneer ascended 
his rostrum in the gardens at noon and announced that 
the site had been let for building, and that all the pro- 
perty on the premises must be sold. Three " deal 
painted tables with turned legs," made for the gardens 
in 1754, went for nine shillings each. The dancing plat- 
form realised fifty guineas, the ballet theatre seventeen 
guineas, and the orchestra ninety-nme pounds. The 
pictures that still remained in the supper boxes were 
purchased by Edward Tyrrell Smith, who placed them 
in the Banqueting Hall at Cremorne. The whole sale 
realised about ^800. 

The builders soon went to work upon the twelve 
acres of Vauxhall Gardens, and in 1864 the church of 
St. Peter, Vauxhall, erected on part of the site, was 
consecrated. Numerous streets of small houses have 
for many years completely obliterated all traces of the 
gardens, the boundaries of which, it is, however, inter- 
esting to trace. The western boundary is marked by 
the present Coding Street, and the eastern by St. 
Oswald's Place. Leopold Street and a small portion 
of Vauxhall Walk define their northern limit, and 
Upper Kennington Lane marks their southern extent. 
The space within these boundaries is occupied by Gye 
Street, Italian Walk, Burnett Street, Auckland Street, 

—,«-.. \<<"y)flVCU'd'to"VAUxHALL. ^_^ , 


Glynn Street, and part of Tyers Street,^ and also by St. 
Peter's Church and the Lambeth District School of 

As late as 1869 "the Supper Colonnade of Vaux- 
hall " was advertised to be sold cheap,^ and with this 
prosaic detail of our own time, we must perforce take 
leave of the pleasure gardens of a past century. 


The literary and pictorial matter available for a history of 
Vauxhall Gardens is almost inexhaustible and, except in a mono- 
graph, it would be impossible to set forth a detailed list of author- 
ities and views. The present sketch is primarily based on the 
materials furnished by an extensive collection in the writer's 
possession, consisting of views, portraits, songs, bills, and cuttings 
from newspapers and magazines, and covering the period 1732— 
1859. Among many other authorities that have been consulted, 
the following may be mentioned : — Pepys's Diary : A Sketch of tfe 
Spring Garden^ Vauxhall {^y John Lockman, 1753?) ; u^ Description 
of Vauxhall Gardens^ London, S. Hooper, 1762 (Guildhall Library, 
London) ; Kearsley's Stranger* s Guide (1793 ?) ; Sale Catalogues of 
Vauxhall Gardens^ 1818 (Brit. Mus.) and 1841 (W.Coll.) ; A Brief 
Historical and Descriptive Account of the Royal Gardens^ Vauxhall^ 
1822 ; The Vauxhall Papers^ 1841 ; the histories of Lambeth and 
Surrey ; W. H. Husk in Grove's Diet, of Music^ art. " Vauxhall 
Gardens " ; Austin Dobson's Eighteenth Century Vignettes, ist scr. 
p. 230, fF. ; Cunningham's Handbook of London s Wheatley's London 
Past and Present ; Walford, vi. 447, IF. ; Blanchard in Era Almanack 
for 1870, p. 9, U. 

1 This part of Tyers Street was formerly called Brunei Street. 

2 Punch for 2 1 August, 1 869, " The Lament of the Colonnade. 



Abel, musician, 244 

Abernethy, John, 73 

Abrahams, Master, 50 

Adam and Eve Tea Gardens, St. 
Pancras, 125-128 

Adam and Eve Tea Gardens, Totten- 
ham Court, 77-80 

Adams, Master, 243 

**Aeriel,"The, 320 

Aitken, 243 

Alexandra Theatre, 165 

Alford, 65 

Allen, Capt, 307 

Amelia, Princess, 18 

Anderson, Miss, 65 

Angelo, 213 

Angling, 45, 46, 68, 81 f., 168, 170 

Aix)llo Gardens, 266, 268-270, 276 

Apollo Saloon, 115, 116 

Armstrong, John, 124 

Ame, Dr., 96, 104, 106, 210, 250, 303 

Ame, Michael, 96, 97, 310 

Ame, Mrs., 291, 304 

Arnold, Dr. Samuel, 103-106 

Arrowsmith, 310 

Arundel House, 247 

Assembly House, Kentish Town, 129, 



Baddeley, Robert, 108, 243 
Baddeley, Mrs., 213, 243, 310 
Bagnigge Wells, 56^67 
Baker, To., drummer, 41 
Baker, ISlr., instrumentalist, 34 
Baker, Mr., vocalist, 97, 242 
Bannister, Charles, 104-106, 213 
Bannister, Mrs. John, 105 
Barley Mow Tea House and Gardens, 


Barnes, Thomas, of The Times^ 320 

Bamshaw, 242-244 
Barras, Joseph, 75 

Barrett, Bryan, 316 

Barrett, George Rogers, 316 

Barthelemon, F. H., 104, 106, 311 

Barthelemon, Mrs., 104, 106 

Bartholomew, Christopher, 134 

Bartholomew, Robert, 131, 132 

Bartolozzi, 213, 214 

Bascom, Charles, 261 

Bate, " Parson " : see Dudley, Sir H. B. 

Bateman, Mrs., 52 

Bates, Joah, 24^, 2d4 

Bath, Mr., 158' 

Battishill, Jonathan, 268 

Batty's Circus, 139 

Bayswater Tea Gardens, 11 7-1 19 

Beard John, 95, 103, 208, 209 

Beauclerk, Lady Sydney, 254 

Beaufoy, Messrs., 254, 256, 257 

Bedford, Paul, 319 

Bell Tavern, Kilburn, 194, 195 

Belsize House, 189-193 

Belvedere House and Gardens, Lam- 
beth, 261, 262 

Belvidere Tea Gardens, Pentonville, 
145, 146 

Belzoni, 52 

Bennet, Mr., 41 

Bennet, Mrs., ^a 

Bennett, Miss Maria, 251 

Bermondsey Spa Gardens, 231-237 

Bethlehem Hospital, 276 

Bevis, John, 57 

Billington, Mrs., 310 

Binley, Mr., 269 

Birkett, 233 

Bish, T., 316 

Bishop, Sir H., 319 

** Black Prince," The, Newington 
Butts, 278 

" Black Queen " Coffee House and Tea 
Gardens, Shacklewell, 173 



Blackmore, 138, 314 

Bland, Mrs., 50, 136, 137, 312 

Blewitt, C, 233 

Blewitt, Tonas, 232 

Bliss, John, 182 

Blogg, Mr., 34, 68, 70 

Blondin, 165 

Body, W. 40 

Bologna &mily, 5 1 

Ikxxfle's Club, 216 

Booth, Mr., 65 

Booth, "General," 86 

Bowen, Jemmy, 178 

Bowles, Mr., 137 

Bowling Green House, 75, 76 

Box, Mr., 65 

Boyan, Mr., 65 

Boyce, Dr., 101 

Boyle, Roljert, 29 

Braham, 50, 319 

Bray, Mrs., 41 

Breach, Mr., 139 

Brent, Mr., 209 

Brent, Miss, 103, 104, 210, 304 

Brewster, 243 

Bridge, organ-builder, 95, 248 

Brila family, 34 

Bristow, W., 172 

Broughton*s Amphitheatre, 80 

Brown, Abram, 208 

Brown, Mr., at the "Three Hats," 150 

Brown, Master, vocalist, 103 

Brown, Thomas, 258, 259 

Bryant, Mr., 139 

Bull Feathers Hall, 145 

Bunn, Alfred, 322 

Burchell, Miss Isabella, 304 : see also 

Vincent, Mrs. 
Burgess, Henry, jun., 249 
Burling, Mr., 233 
Bumey, Dr. Charles, 202, 209 
Burton, Mr., 233 
Busby, Christopher, 145 
Busby's Folly, 145 
Butler, organist, 202 
Byiield, 202 
Byrn, Mrs., 233 
Byrne, James, 50 
Byrne, Oscar, 50 

Caillot, 105, 108, 213, 215 
Calvert, Mrs., 105 

Camber well Grove House : see Grove 
House, Camberwell 

Canning, George, 226, 22S 

Canonbury House Tea Gardens, 154, 

Cantrell, Miss, 243 

Caporale, 209 

Carey, George Saville, 108 

Carey, Master, 51 

Carli, Miss, 243 

Carlyle's "Diamond Necklace," quoted, 

Carpenter, Lady Almeria, 20S 
Carter, Mrs., 201, 272 
Carter, Messrs. W. H. and J- R-, 238 
Cartwright, Mrs., 105 
Castle Inn and Tea Gardens, Cole- 

brooke Row, 147 
Caston, Robert, 187 

Catches and Glees, 102, 106, 210, 310 
Catley, Anne ("Nan"), loi, 105 
Cavanagh, John, 157, 15S 
Cave, vocalist, 116 
Cemmitt, Miss, 233 
Chabert, 136 

Chad's Well : see St. Chad's Well 
Chalk Farm, 10 
Chambers, Mrs., 97 
Chambre, Sir Allen, 72 
Champness, 97, 210 
Chapman, G. R., 238 
Chapman, Richard, 65 
Chatterton, Thomas, 104 
Charke, Mrs. Charlotte, 35 
Cheere, Henry, 302 
Cheney, Master, 104 
Cherokee Indians, 220 
Chinese Junk, 260 
Gibber, Colley, 35, 147 
Cipriani, 213, 214 
Claggett, Walter, 268, 270 
Clanheld, 41, 104, 105 
Clark, Mrs., at Finch's Grotto, 243 
Clarke, Miss, rope-dancer, 138 
Clarke, Mr., at Finch's Grotto, 243 
Clennell, Luke, 61 
Clifford, Master, 65 
Clitherow, 105, 213, 253 
Coan, John, 146, 220, 221 
Coates, " Romeo," 312 
Cobham, Lord, 18 
" Cobham's Head," 68, 69 
Cocking, Robert, 322 
Cocklin, violinist, 243 
Cold Bath near the " Adam and Eve " 

Collett, Mrs,, loi 
Collier, Mrs., 170 
Collins, Benjamin, 154 



Collins, Sam (Samuel Vagg), 109 
Colman, G., 214 
Coningham, equestrian, 150, 151 
Cooke, equestrian, 319 
Cop>enhagen House, 156-160 
Corelli, 105, 248, 250 
Comelys, Mrs., 27, 96, 213 
Costello, 51 
Costellow, organist, 269 
Cox*s Museum, 106 
Coxwell, Henry, 135 
Craven, William, 25-27 
Cremome Gardens, 11, 324 
Cricket, 131, 159, 302 

Crofts, Capt., 307 

Cromwell House, Brompton, 225-227 
Cromwell's Gardens, Brompton, 225- 

Crosier, Joseph, 281 

Cruikshank, George, 134 

Culver, Mr., 105 

Cumberland, Duke of, 35, 98, 251 

Cumberland Tea Gardens, Vauxhall, 
281, 283-285 

Cuper, Boyder, 247 

Cuper, John, 247 

Cuper's Gardens, 40, 41, 181, 194, 
247-257, 258, 261 

Cupid's Gardens, 248, 249, 252 

Curtis, William, botanist, 264 

Dog and Duck, 263, 264, 269, 271- 

277, 280 
Dominique, Mr., 34 
Donaldson, Mrs., 97 
Dorman, Mrs., 104, 243, 244 
Dowson, Miss, 243, 244 
Drury, General, 97 
Dubellamy, 106 
Dubois, 51 
Duck-hunting, 271 
Ducking Pond House, 25 
Ducrow, 319, 322 
Dudley, Sir Henry Bate, Bart., 307, 

Duffield, R., 324 
Dunn, John, 139 
Duval, Claude, 167 
Dwarfs Tavern, Chelsea, 146, 220, 221 

Eagle Tavern, 11, 86, 87 

Eaton, Charles, 127 

English Grotto, Rosoman Street, 37-39 

Espagnole, La Belle, 50 

Esser, Miss, 105 

Evans, Ephraim, 248, 249 

Evans, Mrs., 249 ff. 

Evelyn, John, 286, 287 

Exeter Change, 243, 263 


Dalton, James, 127 

Darking, Mr., 65 

Darley, Mr., j 12, 316, 317 

Davis, "Jew," 50 

Davis, John, 58, 62 

Davis, Miss, vocalist, loi, 103 

Dearie, Mr., 210, 242, 244 

Defesch, 97 

"Denbies" at Dorking, 305 

D'Eon, the Chevalier, 216 

Desaguliers, Dr., 280 

Devil's House, Holloway, 167, 168 

Dibdin, C, 50, 106, 210, 212, 213 

Dibdin, Thomas, 50 

Dickie, 65 

Dighton, 50 

Dignum, Charles, 312, 313 

Dingle/s, Islington, 148 

Diving at Ranelagh, 217 

Dobney, Mrs. Ann, 141 

Dobne/s Bowling Green, 141-144 

Dodswell, George, 30 


Falkner, Miss M. A., 96 

Fawcett, Mr., 168 

Fawcett, vocalist, 210 

Feathers Tavern, Cuper's Gardens, 

247 ff. 
Ferrand, Mr., 96 
Festing, Michael, 20S 
Fielding, Sir John, 61, 96 
Finch, Thomas, 241 ff. 
Finch's Grotto Gardens, 241-246 
Fisher, violinist, 106 
Fitzherbert, Geoi^e Robert, 307 
Fitzherbert, Mrs., 216 
Fives-playing at Copenhagen House, 

Flack, Mr., 269 

Fleet River, 61, 64 

Flora Tea Gardens, Bayswater, 117, 

Flora Tea Gardens, Westminster Bridge 

Road, 265 
Floranze, Alme., 233 



Florida Gardens, Brompton, 225-228 
** Folly, The," on the Thames, 248, 

Foote, Samuel, 214 
Forbes, Mrs., 103-105, 243 
Forcer, Francis, sen.* 46, 47 
Forcer, Francis, jun. , 46, 47 
** Forge of Vulcan," 105 ff. 
Formantel, Miss, 209 
Foster, Mr., 65 
Foster, Mrs. , 105 
"Fountain" Tavern, Baldwin Street, 

Fountayne, Dr. John, 98, 100 
Franklin, Mrs., 312: see also Leary, 

Frasi, Giulia, 208 
Frederick Prince of Wales, 291 
Freeman, Mrs., 233 
Ffoud, Miss, 103 

Gainslx>rough, Earl of, 177 
Gambling, 16, 17, 75, 94, 180, 181, 

190, 260 
Garnerin, 217, 321 
Garrick, 214 
Garth's Dispensary ^ 177 
Garvey, Miss, 243 
Genovini, Carjo, 220 
George (IV.), Prince of Wales, 215, 

216, 238, 308, 312, 316 
Gibbons, Dr., 177 
Gibbons, Mrs., loi 
Gibbs, 65 
Gibson, 65 

Giovanelli, Edward, 164, 165 
Glanville, Thomas, 97 
Glindon, 116 

Gloucester Lodge, Brompton, 228 
Gloucester, Maria Duchess of, 227 
Goldsmith, Oliver, 133, 134, 154, i6l, 

162, 201 
" Goldsmith's Arms," South wark, 246 
Goodwin, Sterling, 244, 280 
Gordon Riots, 185 
Gough, Daniel, 95 
Graham, Mr., 135 
Graham, Mrs., 52, 117, 135 
Granby, Lord, 222 
Granom, Lew^is, 251 
Gray, Thomas, 200, 201 
Greatorex, Mr., 80 
Grecian Saloon, 86 
Green, Charles, 135, 321, 322 

Green, Master, vocalist, 243, 244 

Grey's Fantoccini, 319 

Griffith, Charles, organist, 58 

Grimaldi, Giuseppe, 48 

Grimaldi, Joseph, 50 

Grist, Mr., 267 

Gronamann, Sibilla, 250 

Grotto Garden, Rosoman Street, 37-39 

Grove House, Camberwell, 10, 164 

Grover, Russell, 324 

Guidot, Dr. Thomas, 43 

Gwynne, Nell, 56, 58, 64 

Gye, F., 291, 316, 322 


Hagley, William, 263 

Haile, General, 311 

Hale House, Brompton, 225-227 

Halhed, John, 29 

Halifax, Earl of, 96, 97 

Hamilton, John, 65 

Ham pstead Wells, 177- 183 

Hampton, John, 119, 135 

Handel, G. F., 68, 98, 102, 106, 243, 

244, 248, 250, 293, 303 
Hardy, Mr., 22 
Harper, Miss, 105 
Harrington, Mrs., 157 
Harris, John, M.P., 245 
Harriss, Mr., 232, 233 
Hart, N., teacher of dancing, 281 
Hartley, Mrs., 307 
Hasse, Sig., 250 
Hawkins, Sir John, 21 
Haydn, 269 

Hayman, Francis, 303, 318, 322 
Hedger, Mr., 273 ff. 
Hengler, 318 

Hercules Pillars, Fleet Street, 248 
Herryman, Mr., 103 
Hiem, R., 226, 227 
Highbury Barn, 161- 1 66 
Highbury Society, The, 157, 161 
Hill, Sir John, 117, 205, 207 
Hinton, Archibald, 164 
Hinton, John, 164 

Hogarth, 53, 80, 290, 291, 294, 302 
Holland, John, 20, 21 
HoUond, Robert, M.P., 321 
Hood, Mr., 54 

Hook, James, 103-106, 309, 310 
Hornsey Wood House, 1 69-1 71 
House of Detention, 40, 42 
Howard, John, 21, 22 
Howell, James, 189, 191 



Hudson, Mr., at Ranelagh House, 210 
Hudson, Mrs., at Vauxhall, 310 
Hudson, Robert, organist, 243 
Hughes, Mr., of iSignigge Wells, ^7, 

Hughes, Charles, equestrian, 150, 151, 

Hughes, R., 316, 322 
Hunting at Belsize House, 190-192 
Huntingdon, Countess of, 27 
Hyat, Miss, loi 


Iliff, Mrs., 269 
Incledon, Charles, 216, 310 
Ireland, Mr., 280 
Isaacs, Miss Rebecca, 165 
Islington Spa, 15-24 

Jack Straw's Castle, Hampstead, 186 

Jackson* of the Grotto Garden, 37, 38 

Jameson, Miss, 310 

Jenny's Whim, Pimlico, 222-224 

Jew's Harp House, 113, 114 

Jews' Spring Garden, 88 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 107, 201, 203, 

254, 272, 305 
Johnson, Thomas, equestrian, 142, 148, 

Johnson, Mr., of " Dobney's," 141 
Johnson's Prospect House : see Dobney's 

Bowling Green 
Jonas, Philip, 143, 145 
Jones, W^illiam, architect, 199 

{ones, hornpipe dancer, 34 
ones, Welsh harper, 248 
Jordan, Mrs., 215 

Jubilee Gardens, Pentonville : see Dob- 
ney's Bowling Green 

Kerman, Madam, 34 
Keyse, Thomas, 231 ff. 
Kilburn Wells, 194-196 
King, Erasmus, 280 
King's Bench Prison, 276 
Knerler, Mr., 96 

Lacy, patentee of Drury Lane, 199 

Lambert, George, 128 

Lambeth Wells, 279, 280 

Lamotte, Mme., 267 

Lampe, Mr., 96 

Lampe, Mrs., 50, loi 

Lane, James, 154 

Langley, John, 15 

Lauder, Mr., 242 

Leader, Mr., 157 

Lear)', Miss, 310, 312 

Leaver, Mrs., 269 > 

Le McEurs, 65 

Leeming, Joseph, 320 

Leeming, Robert, 68 

Legg, Mr., loi 

Leotard, 165 

Lewis, Mr. , of Restoration Gardens, 263 

Lloyd, Mrs., 170 

London Corresponding Society, 158 

London Spa, 29-32 

Long, Robert, loi 

Long's Bowling Green, 94 

Longuemare, 314, 318 

" Lord Cobham's Head," 68, 69 

Lord, Thomas, 132 

Love, Mr., 116 

Lowe, Thomas, 50, 97, 101-103, 242, 

243, 291, 295, 304, 308 
Lucas, William, 73 
Lunardi, Vincent, 78 
Lyon, NIaster, vocalist, 243 



Kean, Edmund, 51 

Kear, 97, 242, 243 

Keeble, organist, 202 

Keefe, Mr., 280 

Kelly, Mr., 307 

Kemp, William, 81 ff. 

Kennedy, Mrs., 310 

Kenrick, Dr., icS 

Kentish Town Assembly House, 129, 130 

Macklin, 52 

Maddox, Michael, 48 

Mallinson, 319 

Mara, Mme., 216 

Marble Hall, Vauxhall, 281, 282 

Marinari, G., 215 

Marriages at Sion Chapel, Hampstead , 

178, 180 
Marshall, Miss, 243 
Martin, Edward, 123 
Martin, the "Tunbridge Knight," 18 



Martyr, Mrs, 310 

Marylebone CJardens, 40, 03-110 

Marylelx>ne Music Hall, 109 

Marylebone Spa, 108 

Mason, Monck, 321, 322 

Masters, Elizabeth, 290 

Mattocks, Mr. and Mrs., 250 

May -dance, 30, 115 

Maze, at New Georgia, 188 ; at White 

Conduit House, 135 
McDou(;al, Mr., 65 
Mensall, Mr., 73 

Merlin's Cave, Clerkenwcll, 54, 55 
Merlin's Cave at the New Wells, 34, 

54; at Richmond, 54 
Mermaid Gardens, Hackney, 10 
Miles, James, 46, 47 
Miles, Mr., 273 
Miles*s Music House, 46, 47 
Mills, Mr., 273 
Milton, statue of, 302 

Milward, Mr., 233 
Misaubin, "Dr., '^18 

MoUoy, Mr., 22 
Monconys, 287 
Monkhouse, Mr., 65, 137 
Montagu, Lady M. W., 20 
Montpelier Gardens, Walworth, 10 
Moore, Mr., 173 
Moore, at Finch's Grotto, 242 
Morland, George, 153 
Morland, Sir Samuel, 287 
Mortram, 318 

Mother Huff's, Hampstead, 180 
"Mount Etna" at Kanelagh, 215, 216 
Mount Gardens : see Flora Tea (har- 
dens, Westminster Bridge Road 
Mountain, Mr. and Mrs., 312 
Moyse, Miss, loi, 243 
Mozart, 210 
Mulberry Garden, i 
Mulberry Garden, Clerkenwell, 40-42 
Munden, 72, 311 
Murphin, 243 
Musard, 322 


Nassau balloon, 322 

Natator, the man frog, 16$ 

Negus, Mr., 66 

Nepecker, Mr., 243 

New Georgia, Hampstead, 187, 188, 222 

New Spring Gardens, Chelsea, 221 

New Spring Garden, Vauxhall(Vauxhall 

Gardens), 78, 286, 287 
New Tunbridge Wells : see Islington Spa 

New Wells, near the London Spa, 33- 

Newington Butts, 278 
Newland, Abraham, 134 
North, Lord, 214 
Northampton Chapel, 27 


Oakcs, Miss, 243 

Oakman, J., 232 

'* Ode on St. Cecilia's Day," B. Thorn- 
ton's, 209 

Offield, Mr., 242 

Old Spring Garden, Vauxhall, 2S6, 

Oldcastle : see Sir John Oldcasile 

Oldfield, Mr., 242 

Onslow, Arthur, 113 

Orange Theatre, 219 

Orchard, Robert, 158 

O'Rourke, Paddy, 65 

Oswald, 209 

Ozealey, 65 


Paddy O'Rourke, 65 

Paine, Thomas, 115 

Palmer, flute-player, 243 

Pancras Wells, 123-126 

Pandean Band, 135 

Pantheon, Oxford Street, 25, 268 

Pantheon, Spa Fields, 25-28, 143 

Park, haut-lx)y player, 103 

Parry, harper, 208 

Parson Bate : see Dudley, Sir H. B. 

}*atagonian Theatre, 243 

Pay, Miss, 233 

Pearson, Sirs., 44 

Peerless Pool, The, 81-85 

Peile, Mr. and Mrs., 233 

Penny's Folly, 145, 146 

Pepys, Samuel, i, 2, 94, 189, 258, 

Perceval, Rt. Hon. Spencer, 192 
" Perillous Pond," 81 
Petersham, Lady Caroline, 298 
Phelps, Samuel, 52 
Philhps, Mr., 103, 106 
Piercy, Mrs., 233 
Pike, organ -builder, 242 
Pinchbeck, 18, 291 
Pinder a Wakefielde tavern, 56 
Pinto, Mrs., 104 : see also Brent, Miss 





Pinto, Thomas, 103, 104, 250 

Piquenit, 104 

Placido, 51 

Plenius, Miss, 10 1 

Pleyel, 269 

Price, equestrian, 142, 148, 150 

Prospect House : see Dobney's Bowling 

Prynn, 65 


Queen's Head and Artichoke, iii, 112 


Racing, 51, 191, 236 

Ramelio, Mme., 97 

Ramo Samee, 319 

Ranelagh, Earl of, 199 

Ranelagh House and Gardens, de- 
scribed, 199-218 ; origin of, 199 ff. ; 
Rotunda, 201 ff. ; entertainments and 
company, 203 ff. ; annals of, A.n. 
1 742-1 769, 208 ff. ; histor}' of, a.d. 
1 770- 1805, 212 ff. ; allusions to, 34, 
40, 266, 294 

Ranelagh Regatta, 213 

I^nn, John, 60, 61, 67 

Ravel Family, 322 

Rawlins, Mr., dancer, 244 

Raworth, Mr., loi 

Rayner, Mr. Dove, 88 

Rayner, Miss, 34, 35 

Redige, Paul, 50 

Reed, Mrs., at Finch's Grotto, 243 

Reeves, Mons., 105 

Reillv, Luke, 283 

Reinhold, 97, 104-106, 214, 291 

Restoration Spring Gardens, 263, 264 

** Revenge," Chatterton's, 104 

Reynolds, Sir J., 201, 214, 235 

Reynoldson, 103 

Rice, T. D., 139 

Richer, wire dancer, 50 

Rigby, Vernon, 165 
, "Riley's" Gardens, Vauxhall, 283 

Rippin, Dorothy, 177 

Risn^re, Lazare, 272 

Roberts, Mr., 65 

Robinson, George, vocalist, 319 

Robinson, Sir Thomas, 40, 200, 212 

Rockholt House, 4a 

Rodell, Mons., 106 

Rogers, Samuel, 182, 205 

Romanzini, Miss, 50 : see also Bland, 

Rose of Normandy tavern, 93, 94, 109 

Rosemary Branch, Islington (Hoxton), 

Rosherville Gardens, 1 1 

Rosoman, Mr., 25, 33, 34, 47, 48 

Rossi, 104, 215, 233 

Roubillac, 302, 303 

Rouse, R., 139 

Rouse, T., 86 

Royal Apollo Saloon, 115, 116 

Roj'al Gardens, Vauxhall : see Vaux- 
hall Gardens 

Royal Oak Lotter}% 17 

Rule, Rev. John, 147 

Sadler, Mr., 43, 44 

Sadler's Wells, 15, 43-53» 124, 243 

St. Chad's Well, 72-74 

St. George's Spa : see V>og and Duck 

St Helena Gardens, Rotherhithe, 238- 

St. Pancras Wells : see Pancras Wells 
Sainville, M., 216 
Salter, Mr., of St. Chad's Well, 72 
Salter, Mr.(jun.?), of St. Chad's Well, 73 
Salter, Thomas, of Bagnigge Wells, 64 
Samee, Ramo, 319 
Sampson, equestrian, 142, 148- 151, 

Sampson, Mrs., 149, 150 

Sandwich, Lord, 310 
Saqui, Mme., 312-315 
Scawen, Capt., 308 
**Ser\a Padrona," 97, 105, 106 
Shacklewell, 173 
Shaftoe, Charlotte, 274 
Shakespeare Tavern and Jubilee Gar- 
dens : see Dobney's Bowling Green 
Sharp, J. W., 319 
Sharp and Warren, Messrs., 135 
Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, 94 
** Shepherd and Shepherdess," 85-87 
Sherratt, John, 95 
Siamese Twinfe, 165 
Sibilla, Signora, 250 
Simpson, Mr. , at Bagnigge Wells, 65 
Simpson, C. H., of Vauxhall Gardens, 

319. 320, 322 
Sion Chapel, Hampstead, 178 
" Sir John Oldcastle " Tavern, 70, 71 
"Sixteen JSirings Jack": see Rann, 




Skeggs, Mr., 209 

Sloman, Charles, 65, 139 

Smart, Christopher, 104 

Smart, violinist, 243, 244 

Smeisser, G., 195 

Smith, A. , at Finch's Grotto, 243, 244 

Smith, Edward Tyrrell, 465, 324 

Smith, H., 65 

Smith, T. T., 234 f., 254 

Smith, Miss, vocalist, loi 

Smith, Mrs., at Finch's Grotto, 243 

Smith, Thomas, at Finch's Grotto, 243 

Smith's Tea Gardens, Vauxhall, 283 

Snell, liannah, 35 

Snow, Sophia, 243 

Snow, Valentine, 243, 303 

Soame, Dr. John, 181 

Southby, 318 

Spa Fields Chapel, 27 

Spaniards, The, Hampstead, 184-186 

Spencer, Edward, 322 

Spinacuti, 50 

Spring Garden, Charing Cross, i, 286 

Spring Gardens, Chelsea, 221 

Spring Gardens, Knightsbridge, 221 

Spring Garden, The New, Vauxhall, 

Spring Garden, Stepney, 88, 89 

Spring Garden, Stoke Newington, 172 

Spring Gardens, Vauxhall (Vauxhall 

Gardens), 286 ff. 
Squibb, Mr., loi 
Stanesby, Mr., 96 
Staples, William, 184 
Star and Garter Tavern, Chelsea, 220, 

Steevens, George, 107 
Stephens, Miss, 319 
Stephenson, Miss, Bermondsey Spa, 

Stepney Spring Garden, 88, 89 

Stevenson, Miss, Vauxhall Gardens, 

■ 295i 304 
Stock, W., 64 

Stoke Newington Spring Garden, 


Storace, 97, 1 01 

Storer, Mrs., 209 

Strologer, Master, 68 

Strombolo House, Chelsea, 219 

Suett, Master (Dick Suett), 243 

Surrey Zoological Gardens, 1 1 

Sutton, Mr., 65 

Sutton, Mrs., 154 

Swift, Jonathan, 288 

Swinnerton, G., 128 

Sydney Gardens, Bath, 270 

Talbot, Miss, 272 

Tate, Mr., 153 

Taylor, Mr., loi, 103 

Taylor, Miss, 238 

Taylor Mrs., 10 1, 243 

Temple of Apollo : see Apollo Gardens 

Temple of Flora, 266-267 

Tenducci, 210 

Tenoe, Mr., 178 

Tessier, 215, 233 

Theobald, James, 261 

Thomas, Giles, 185 

Thomas, Miss, 105, 210, 243 

Thompson, Mrs., 104-106, 213, 233 

Thornton, Bonnell, 209 

Thorc^ood, Mr., 65 

Thrale, Mrs., 272 

Three Hats, The, Islington, 14S-152 

Three Tuns Ale House, 75 

Todd, Thomas, 217 

Tooth, Mr., 158 

Torr^, 105-107 

Townshend, Dr., 241 

Trades Unionists in Copenhagen Fields, 

"Treat, The," Stepney. 89 
Trelawny, Miss, 106 
Trusler, Mr. John, 95, loi 
Trusler, Dr. John, 97 
Trusler, Miss, 95, 101 
Tunstall, Miss, 116, 312 
Turpin, Dick, 100 
Tyers, Jonathan, 289, 290 ff. 
Tyers, Jonathan, the younger, 305 ff. 
Tyers, Thomas (** Tom"), 305 
Tytler, J., 78 

Vauxhall Affray, The, 307 

Vauxhall Gardens, account of, 2S6- 
326 ; allusions to, 34, 200, 201, 252, 
269, 283, 284 ; early history of, 286- 
289 ; Ridottos at, 29S, 308 ; season- 
tickets, 290, 291, 294; approaches 
to, 293 ff. ; the Cascade, 296, 318 ; 
refreshments at, 296-300 ; Grand 
Walk, Dark Walks, Lovers' Walk, 
&c., described, 300-302, 318; the 
boxes, 302, 303 ; the Rotunda, 303, 
314, 318; concerts, 303, 304, 30S- 
312, 319; affrays and disorderly 
scenes at, 305-308, 312; fireworks, 
312 ff-